Michael O’Donoghue has been training for the 39.3 Connemara Ultra Marathon for months now. His dedication to the cause and his rigorous training regime of high mileage runs, sometimes several in a week, have impressed and even astounded many of us at Orangegrove.

There have been setbacks on the way and at times we have questioned his sanity. However, Michael’s positive demeanour and his never say die attitude have now given him almost legendary status within the Victoria Park club. Michael is not alone in Connemara this weekend.

Thomas Leitch, accompanied as usual by Liz, is the official 1:30 pacer for the Connemara Half Marathon, which runs parallel with the Full Marathon and Ultra events. By the way, the Ultra course record for Connemara is held by a certain Giorgio Calcaterra on a time of 3:56:56. I suspect he is not local! How close MOD will get to that I don’t know and only time will tell! I thought I once heard him say that he was aiming for 6:30. News emerges slowly out of the wilds of Connaught… but rumour has it that despite severe stomach cramps after mile 31 he managed to get round in 6:41:25 and is already planning his next Ultra.

This proves what we all suspected to begin with… he is completely bonkers! Very well done indeed, Michael!

Not content with taking on an ultra marathon on the Sunday, Michael took part in Galway’s Knocknacarra parkrun on the Saturday, registering a leisurely 27.38 (50th/88). The Leitch pair had a similar idea and took part in the Westport parkrun. Thomas recorded 22.08 (14th/60) and Liz 22.44 (20th/60). The striking thing about these two latter results is that you would have thought that Thomas could have waited for Liz, to cross the line together! Was there a row or something?