32 Marathons in 32 Counties in 32 Days – Day 17 – Co Down

On Saturday 18 August Newcastle AC and Castlewellan parkrun were delighted to host Paul, Noel and a strong team of runners for the Co. Down leg of their epic quest to complete a marathon in each of the 32 counties in Ireland on consecutive days. With 16 runs completed, Co. Down would mark the beginning of the second half of a journey that sees the team finish on 2 September in Belfast. The group are fundraising for the Children’s Cancer Charity and will gratefully accept all donations, big or small. Anyone interested in making a donation can do so in the following ways: justgiving-ccu32 or textgving ccuc99 to 70070.

After completing the parkrun, the group covered some additional miles in Castlewellan Park ably led by the NAC stalwarts to get them as far as 10 miles. At that point they were joined by some fresh legs and left Castlewellan to follow a route that took them to the finish at the top end of the promenade Newcastle at just after 1:15pm. Other joined along the way and nutrition was available regularly from a strong and committed support crew. The group completed the run in just over 3 hours 47 minutes – no mean achievement given that they had already completed a marathon a day for the 16 previous days!

A spokesman for Newcastle AC commented on how delighted he was that so many club members turned out in club vests to support the event. At the finish, the team was treated to the full NAC five star experience, beginning with a dip in the ‘Donard Park Spa’ (the river under the bridge!!!). This was followed by a rejuvenating massage offered free of charge by the healing hands of Megan McGreevy, Greg McCann and Ruairi McCrickard. All agreed that they were ready to face Day 18 in Donegal with fresh legs. This was followed by soup and sandwiches sponsored by O’Hare’s and the proceedings were completed with a generous donation of £500 Jack O’Hare from O’Hare’s Bars and restaurant.

It was then time for the team to pack up and make the 130 mile trip to Falcarragh in Donegal for Day 18. We wish the boys every success for the days ahead, confident that they can complete their journey in style.

The 32 32 32 team at the beginning of the parkrun in Castlewellan.

Noel, Paul and Niall.

After the event – presentation at O’Hare’s.