Cathal raises more than €60k for charity and PPE gear in his garden

GAA

Eye on the ball: Cathal Freeman raised has raised over €60,000 through his garden marathon challenge to date. Photo: Sportsfile

Eye on the ball: Cathal Freeman raised has raised over €60,000 through his garden marathon challenge to date. Photo: Sportsfile

Running a marathon would normally take months of preparation - getting the miles into your legs over time and building up to the big day and planning out how to get yourself around the course.

But not for one Mayo hurler - Tooreen's Cathal Freeman - who floated the idea of running one on Tuesday, March 31 on Twitter, saying if he got 2,000 retweets he would do one last Sunday - but not just an ordinary marathon. It would be one around his front garden in Limerick - while soloing a sliothar around a small patch of grass.

While it was a personal challenge it was also one to fundraise for good causes, with the UL medical student looking to raise money for the Irish Cancer Society and for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE ) for HSE workers.

The retweets came in and last Sunday the whole event was streamed live on Mayo GAA TV's Facebook page as the medical student duly took to the course and completed 42km or 1,400 laps of the course in just under seven hours and in the process, as of yesterday, Thursday, April 9, had already raised a bumper sum of over €60,000.

Speaking to the Mayo Advertiser yesterday Cathal said he was just getting back to normal after his efforts: "I'd say today was probably the first day since that I have felt anything like normal since it."

As for running 42km it's not something that he would normally do at all: "Long distance running for pleasure or leisure is not something that I would ever do, as I said to someone during the week 10k is probably the longest I've gone before in one go. I've a house mate here Sean Flannery from Ballaghaderreen who pop out the door in the evening and do 10k or 15k and I'd look at him going how have you done that, there is nothing more torturous to me than long slow running."

"The soloing the sliothar was probably a bit of double edged sword it would have slowed me down a good bit, but it stopped me getting dizzy and gave me something to concentrate on while doing it."

Freeman can't believe how successful the whole thing has been saying: "I got a great boost out of it this morning when I saw that it had gone past the €60,000 mark, people have asked when am I going to stop people being able to make donations, but as long as they are coming in I'll keep it going. The reaction has been amazing, I can't say enough of the guys at Mayo GAA TV and all involved there who helped stream the whole thing, it gave us great publicity and brought it world-wide and the donations have came in from everywhere.

As for his next challenge - it's a simple one next up for him he said: "I think passing my exams is the next big one, after that we'll just have to see what pops out of my head."

You can still donate to the cause at his Go Fund Me Page which you can find at https://www.gofundme.com/f/marathon-while-soloing-a-sliothar.

 

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