Marathon man to deliver Arva talk

Arva’s Breffni Arms Hotel has seen quite a few famous faces over the years.

Arva’s Breffni Arms Hotel has seen quite a few famous faces over the years.

Next monday evening (September 3) the well-known Co Cavan establishment will add another decorated celebrity to that growing list when Ireland’s answer to superman - Gerry Duffy visits the town.

The Mullingar chain-smoker, turned marathon-runner extraordinaire, is undoubtedly the nation’s most decorated endurance athlete. In 2010, he completed 32 marathons in as many days and in June claimed the UK’s first Deca Ironman Challenge - comprising a 24-mile swim, 1160 miles on bike, followed by an energy-sapping 262 mile run.

Now the 43-year-old Mullingar ironman will attempt to relay some of that devotion with a special motivational talk to members of the public.

“It’s principally about goal setting,” he replied when asked about his unprecedented achievements. “I won’t just be talking about that though. There are also lots of things to consider when setting goals and the many experiences people are likely to face when marathon running.”

Organised by Dromard GAA, the evening represents the start of an ambitious project by the north Longford club to improve well being and fitness locally.

As such, a 10km and 5km run/walk is currently being lined up for September 29, with a second event following in mid-November.

The aim, as one time 17 stone chain-smoker pointed out, is to allow those interested to set their own personal goals and ambitions.

“I used to have quite a serious weight problem and would smoke around 30 to 40 cigarettes a day. All of that changed when I started running. Staying healthy and getting in shape is not about setting impossible challenges but if you are willing to get out of that comfort zone, anything is possible,” he said.

All proceeds raised from the fundraiser will go to St Christopher’s Services and Dromard GAA. Admission on the night is €5 with proceedings expected to get underway at 9pm.