FOUR members of the Omagh Harriers Athletic Club will this weekend bid to complete the Marathon distance in under three hours and all in a good cause.
Gareth Shortt, Ryan Pritchard, Sean O’Gara and Ricky Duffy are aiming to become part of just one per-cent of marathon runners to achieve the notable feat.
They will be completing the run between 9am and 11.59am this Sunday, March 28 and it’s all in aid of Aware NI Defeat Depression.
Their coach, Seanie Meyler, said the end of March date was chosen because two of the boys are expecting to become new fathers next month.
“With lockdown and no group running allowed, training in January and February was completed on an individual basis, including the long slow Sunday run ranging from ten to 18 miles,” he said.
“Then it was in groups of two in March. The lack of running in a group was turned into a positive as it help them build greater mental strength by completing speed, tempo and long slow runs on their own.”
Gareth Scott said that breaking the sub three hour marathon mark would be a massive achievement for himself, especially since it is only two years since he broke the sub four hour mark for a marathon.
Ryan Pritchard said that achieving the target would make him feel that he can achieve anything he puts his mind to, while Ricky added that doing a marathon in under three hours would be more incredible than anything else he has done in running.
Sean O’Gara said running a sub three hour marathon had always been a target for him, and his best time so far is three hours four minutes.
Clare Galbraith, Head of Fundraising at AWARE also praised the runners for their efforts. “We’re delighted that Ricky, Gareth, Ryan and Sean have chosen to support AWARE with this impressive marathon challenge,” she said.