CLARA’S Ronan Scully was back to work earlier this week. Nothing unusual about that you might think. Except that last weekend Ronan ran a marathon. Again, not that unusual. But the marathon he ran was at the North Pole.
That’s 26.2 miles in the snow at minus 35 degrees and in the process he raised a whopping €40,000 for charities including GOAL and Dóchas, the Offaly cancer support group.
As always Ronan was philosophical about his achievement and compared this magnificent athletic event to an allegory for life. He maintained that running the marathon had been a major life-changing event for him.
Speaking to the ‘Offaly Express’ this week Ronan said that he realised that this might be the only marathon he ever runs so he decided to savour the occasion.
The GOAL co-ordinator ran the marathon in over seven hours, a respectable time in any circumstances, but especially at the North Pole. he divided the marathon route into sections doing each mile for someone’s intentions and chatting with the other participants, encouraging each other along the way.
“Running a marathon is as much a mental challenge as a physical one,” explained Ronan. “Yes, there is intense hard work that must be done in order to be physically prepared for the marathon when it comes along, but when the later miles arrive, and your legs begin to complain after making the same repetitive movements thousands of times, it’s up to the mind to override the urge to quit.”
Ronan began his preparations for the marathon at the same time that he commenced the RTE television programme Operation Transformation. At one stage he was cautioned by the programme’s advisers to slow down his weight loss. The life-changing experience was an excellent preparation for the physical rigours of the North Pole marathon.
“I was amazed at the rush of energy I got while running the last stretch of my marathon. I thought my legs had given me all the energy they had left, but in the last mile as I saw the finish line in the distance, I picked up my speed and gave it all I had and happily and emotionally crossed the finishing line with my Ireland, GOAL, Galway and Offaly flags waving uncontrollably as were the tears that were streaming, and freezing down my face,” he admitted to the Offaly Express this week.
“What I learnt from my experience over the last few months on Operation Transformation and in doing the North Pole marathon last weekend is to keep going forward no matter what challenges life throws at you and don’t be afraid to give help and receive help as you make that journey through life and don’t forget to savour the experience as it is all about the journey and not the end result.”
Ronan added his sincere thanks to all who supported and sponsored him over the past few weeks.