Age is no barrier for a local man who is gearing up to compete in his 39th Dublin Marathon this weekend at the age of 82.
Marathon man Pat O’Loughlin has been described as a “true inspiration” as he prepares to lace up his running shoes once again this weekend to raise funds for both the MS Society research and Marie Curie.
Astonishingly, the only Dublin marathon Pat has ever missed was in 2014 when he was confined to a hospital bed in Altnagelvin.
The Castlederg man’s long-time friend and fundraising partner John Doherty joked: “Pat was for getting up and running that year, we very nearly had to restrain him!”
However, Pat was back on his feet and running again the following year and is now looking towards his 39th Dublin marathon and his 66th marathon overall.
Originally from Belleek, Pat ran a jewellery shop in Castlederg for many years. To date Pat has raised around £90,000 to help fund MS research and has a special interest in myelin repair research which looks at slowing, stopping and reversing disability.
Following the recent launch of the MS Society’s Stop MS appeal, Pat is pulling on his running shoes again. With around 65 marathons in total under his belt, this could be Pat’s final race. But Pat is determined to finish strong.
Over the years Pat has been joined by his son Ciaran and running partner Jenny McMenamin as well as by Jenny’s daughter Rachel, all running and helping to raise vital funds.
Pat says: “It is great to be running the Dublin marathon again this year. I have only ever missed one, so it is a bit of a habit. After around 65 marathons it is becoming a bit more challenging, I will be 83 in December. But we receive great support from the local community and I want to thank them for that, they really keep me going”.
Pat also points to the support he receives from many good friends and family members as his inspiration and in particular, the support offered by good friend John Doherty and he is determined to don the running shoes again this year.
Tom Mallon from the MS Society commented “Pat is an absolute superstar. His commitment and support is an inspiration. He points to the help and support he receives from family members and friends but he is the real hero. Pat is a remarkable man and we appreciate his efforts to help us Stop MS. He is, quite simply an inspiration.
“At 83 to keep running and keep raising funds for causes he believes in is fantastic.”
Anne McRoberts, Marie Curie Fundraising Manager said, “Pat is a truly inspirational man and we feel privileged that he has decided to support Marie Curie, alongside MS Society on his 39th Dublin Marathon. This is an amazing achievement – we wish him all the best and thank him for his support that will help care for people with a terminal illness and their families across Northern Ireland.”
Pat is fundraising at: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/patoloughlin2019