On Sunday August 28 marathon mania is set to hit County Longford as the 10th annual Longford Marathon gets under way. Peter Reilly is among the many budding participants set to take to the streets of the county and he talked to the Leader about his upcoming challenge.
“A few years ago I knocked the drink on the head and started in the Longford Arms gym. I haven’t looked back since,” said Peter who is originally from Dromard but currently living in Lisduff, Longford. “I met Liam Fenelon at the gym and he and I started to talk about the Longford Athletics Club and that’s where it started for me.”
Up to that point Peter, like many other athletes, was running solely on the treadmill. After joining Longford Athletics Club the former construction worker discovered a new passion – road running.
“I really enjoy it. I only joined the club two or three weeks ago, but I have to say that the social side of it is great and there’s a great enthusiasm in the club about getting fit,” said Peter who currently studies computers at Cavan Institute of Technology.
Such was the impact of the Longford Athletic Club on Peter’s confidence that he decided to give the Breffni Challenge 20km run a go and was delighted with his performance.
“I am now excited about the Longford Marathon since I got the Breffni Challenge over me. I realised after that that I had more in the tank than I thought and that I was able to do more,” said Peter.
In terms of training, the marathon novice is at a slightly disadvantage facing into August 28. Usually a marathon runner will have completed between five and six months road training, whereas Peter will only have completed five or six weeks.
“My only advantage is that I have a reasonable level of fitness from my years in the gym,” said the hopeful runner. “So far 20km is the furthest I have run but I’m hoping to build my training up to 30 to 35km over the next few weeks.”
For many of us the enticement may seem somewhat elusive. Not so with Peter.
“It is tough at stages. I accept that. However, it is very rewarding and it’s a great feeling when I get it done,” he said.
Peter admits that he receives a lot of support from his family, friends and members of the Longford Athletics Club.
“We have about 20 to 25 members and they are at all levels; beginners, intermediaries and advanced. There’s always someone to run with and we don’t take it too seriously. It’s a great laugh and no one is left behind,” said Peter.
For further information about the Longford Marathon (August 28) please visit www.longfordmarathon.com.