Over the next six months one Galwegian will undertake an epic sporting and physical endurance adventure in order to raise funds for western heart charity Croí.
Brian Bredin will be taking part in the Limerick City Marathon this weekend, the Ironman event in September, and the Dublin City Marathon in October, but he is adding an extra challenge for himself - he will cycle from Galway to Limerick and from Galway to Dublin for the marathons.
Brian has christened the event Briathlon 2012 - 1 man, 2 wheels, 3 challenges. The first adventure takes place this Sunday with the Limerick Marathon.
“I will be leaving Galway at 2am, cycling down to Limerick to be there for the 9am start for the marathon,” Brian tells me. “I will be lit up like a Christmas tree for the cycle down as it will be dark for much of the morning. It is a 26 mile marathon and that is going to be tough after a 97km cycle beforehand.”
Ironman 70.3 takes place on September 2 which will involve a 1.9km swim, a c90km cycle, and c20kn run. “If somebody doesn’t shout out a very Black Sabbathish ‘I am Ironman’ at me during the event, I will be disappointed!” laughs Brian.
The final event in Briathlon 2012 will be Dublin and this will be the most gruelling and challenging of all.
“Then comes the Dublin City Marathon,” he says. “I will cycle to Dublin the day before, leaving at 8am and reaching there by 8pm, get a good night’s sleep and hopefully be able to get up the following morning and do the marathon.”
Brian is a keen fitness enthusiast but including the cycles to Limerick and Dublin is a major endeavour. What kind of training has he been doing for the events?
“I cycle about 170km a week, including cycling to work,” says Brian. “I run 20 miles once a week and do 10 to 14km inbetween that during the week.”
Briathlon 2012 is in aid of Croí and Brian is hoping that the Galway public will get behind him and donate to the west of Ireland cardiac charity through www.mycharity.ie/event/briathlon “My dad had a triple bypass 15 years ago and wasn’t very well for a long time afterwards,” he said, “but he got a lot of help and advice from Croí and Croí spring to mind instantly when I thought of this.”
Undertaking Ironman and two marathons is challenging enough, so why add in the extra endurance test of the marathon cycles?
“To add a bit extra spice to it,” he says. “Anybody can just run a marathon. I want it to be a real challenge. I know I will suffer but I’m doing it for Croí and you have to think about the people who use the services that Croí provide.
“They are suffering and experiencing pain and stress that can go on for a long time, whereas my pain will only be temporary. So why not go and give it socks? A lot of my friends do think I’m mad. They gasp in horror when they heard it first but I feel it is doable. Once people get over the initial shock they are happy to give me a slap on the back and give me support.”
Over the last year Brian has cultivated a full and bushy beard, but as part of the personal/charity challenge he has vowed to have a shave once Briathlon 2012 is complete.
“When the Dublin marathon is finished in October the beard will be coming off,” he says. “That will be one year’s growth, a symbolic end to the challenge.”
Briathlon 2012 is raising funds for Croí. To donate go to www.mycharity.ie/event/briathlon