N4 runner overwhelmed by support

Local marathon runner Brendan Doyle has described as ‘phenomenal’ the response from the people of Longford to his fundraising efforts for Irish Autism Action by running the entire N4 from Sligo to Dublin.

Local marathon runner Brendan Doyle has described as ‘phenomenal’ the response from the people of Longford to his fundraising efforts for Irish Autism Action by running the entire N4 from Sligo to Dublin.

The 131-mile run was undertaken by Brendan, Niall Murphy (Rhode, Offaly) and Michael Devaney (Mullingar) to raise funds for the new Autism Centre of Excellence recently established in Westmeath. The two day event on October 11 and 12 was sponsored by Abbott.

“It went well,” Brendan told the Leader on Monday, “I went out for my first bit of running since the run today and I’m still in bits.”

It’s not difficult to understand why: it took over 30 hours to complete. “This was the furthest distance I’ve ran and the longest time I’ve spent running. I’ve done two Ironman competitions but they just took 12 hours. There were highs and lows, as was expected undertaking something like this,” Brendan said.

The definite highlight for Brendan was the Longford leg of the trip, when pupils from Stonepark NS met the three runners on the Battery Road and jogged alongside them back to the Longford Arms Hotel, where soccer legend Paul McGrath was waiting to support their efforts.

“Paul was great with the kids, posing for photographs and was well received by everyone. We were also accompanied by workers from Abbott in Longford at that stage,” Brendan added.

Others joined in along the route, which was a big boost for the three men as they continued the run towards Dublin, finishing at the Liffey Valley Abbott plant on Friday October 12.

Asked if he would ever undertake anything as gruelling again, Brendan laughed, “of course.”

“The cause behind it is amazing. Autism is very common and widely known about now, but as much as it is known, there is no support for families. Whatever is raised by the charities working in the area is all they get. It’s important to continue to help the good work that is happening all the time,” Brendan added.

The final amount raised has yet to be calculated as the organisers are still collecting the money raised by selling Autism awareness flags and chocolate bars. The runners can still be supported by texting N4RUN to 57802. Texts cost r2 with r1.25 excluding VAT going to Irish Autism Action. Log onto www.n4autismrun.com for more details