Running fireman brings 32 marathon challenge to Longford

Alex O'Shea will be in Longford tomorrow Tuesday, September 11

Longford Leader Reporter


Longford Leader Reporter


Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind is delighted to announce that Cork fire fighter 'The Running Fireman' Alex O'Shea will bring his 32 Marathon, 32 counties in 16 days Challenge to Longford tomorrow Tuesday, September 11.

All proceeds will go towards supporting the life changing work of the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind.

Alex will have completed Marathon No. 19 and 20 in Meath and Cavan the previous day before travelling to Longford.

Alex will be joined on his challenge by Tralee native Garda Ollie O'Sullivan who will not only crew for Alex but will take on his own personal challenge to run 50km of the 84km a day every day of the challenge.

Ahead of the Challenge Alex said: "A big thanks to everyone in Longford for supporting us with Marathon No 21 particularly Brendan Doyle of Longford Canal Marathon. We are looking forward to taking our amazing challenge to Longford. I would encourage everyone to come along and run even part of the distance."

Once Marathon No. 21 is completed, Alex will immediately head on to Westmeath where he will embark on Marathon No. 22 that afternoon at the Lillyput Adventure Centre.

Patrick Burke, Chairman of Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind commented: "We have huge admiration for the courage Alex is showing to take on this momentous challenge. Everyone here wishes him and Ollie the very best of luck. Support like this makes a real difference to our work changing lives of those who are vision impaired and families of children with autism."

There are numerous ways to get involved including joining Alex by running anything from a mile to a full marathon, making a donation or taking a sponsorship card.


The Challenge

Saturday 1 Sept

Marathon 1 Dingle, Co, Kerry

Marathon 2 Limerick

Sunday September 2

Marathon 3 Clare

Marathon 4 Galway

Monday September 3

Marathon 5 Mayo

Marathon 6 Roscommon

Tuesday September 4

Marathon 7 Sligo

Marathon 8 Leitrim

Wednesday September 5

Marathon 9 Fermanagh

Marathon 10 Donegal

Thursday September 6

Marathon 11 Tyrone

Marathon 12 Derry

Friday September 7

Marathon 13 Antrim

Marathon 14 Down

Saturday September 8

Marathon 15 Armagh

Marathon 16 Monaghan

Sunday September 9

Marathon 17 Louth

Marathon 18 Dublin

Monday September 10

Marathon 19 Meath

Marathon 20 Cavan

Tuesday September 11

Marathon 21 Longford

Marathon 22 Westmeath

Wednesday September 12

Marathon 23 Kildare

Marathon 24 Offaly

Thursday September 13

Marathon 25 Tipperary

Marathon 26 Laois

Friday September 14

Marathon 27 Wicklow

Marathon 28 Wexford

Saturday September 15

Marathon 29 Carlow

Marathon 30 Kilkenny

Sunday September 16

Marathon 31 Waterford

Marathon 32 Cork

Further information including routes & times can be viewed here – View promotional video -

About Alex O'Shea

* Alex O’Shea is a 44-year-old married, father of 4, originally from Carrigaline now living in Ballineen, Co. Cork

* Alex works as a full-time fire fighter with Cork City Fire Brigade since 2005.

* Previous to 2005, Alex served in the Irish Naval Service for 11 years and was deployed with the United Nations in Lebanon and served on many of the Irish naval service vessels.

* In the last few years Alex has developed a love of running and has pursued many personal running challenges and goals meeting some great people along the way.

* Alex completed his first marathon only 4 years ago and became a Guinness World Record holder in the process: Fastest Marathon in Full Fire Gear in 3hrs 41min 10sec. Since then he has competed for Ireland at the 100km World Championships in Spain 2016 and won silver medals in the 50km and 24-hour national championship events in 2017.

* Alex runs for Cork City Council in the BHAA (Business House Athletic Association) races. Alex is also a member of St. Finbarr’s Athletic Club in Cork & is affiliated with Marathon Club Ireland.


About Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind

Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind (IGDB) is Ireland’s national charity dedicated to helping people who are vision impaired and families of children with autism to achieve improved mobility and independence.

For over 40 years we have provided life-changing services and support to people across Ireland with sight loss.

For further information contact:

Róísin Grant Email:

Mobile: 087 207 2953