Derry man Dessie McShane to complete World Marathon Majors for Foyle Hospice
A Derry man who has run 88 marathons in 41 years will complete the last of the six major world marathons this weekend, all to raise funds for the Foyle Hospice.
Dessie McShane will set off in aid of Foyle Hospice in Tokyo this Sunday, where he will earn the coveted Six Star Medal by completing the last of the Abbott World Marathon Majors series.
The series consists of six of the largest and most well-known marathons in the world; the Tokyo Marathon, Boston Marathon, TCS London Marathon, BMW Berlin Marathon, Bank of America Chicago Marathon and TCS New York City Marathon.
The Abbott World Marathon Majors represents some of the best marathons in the world, and finishing all six Marathon Majors is definitely a notable accomplishment.
McShane said he began running when he was 16-years-old. He ran his first marathon aged 17 and hasn’t stopped running since.
“The main reason I run is because it makes you feel good and keeps you fit,” he said.
“The six major marathons are New York, Boston, Berlin, Chicago, London and Tokyo and I will be running in Tokyo on March 5.
“I ran Boston 12 times, I ran London 17 times and Berlin twice, I ran Chicago once last October and I ran New York five times…I’ve been around!”
The 57-year-old has also run marathons throughout Ireland, including the Walled City Marathon in his hometown as well as the Dublin and Belfast marathons.
He has also attended numerous events in England and has run marathons in Amsterdam and Rotterdam.
McShane, who is a popular runner in the Maiden City, said he runs to raise funds for Foyle Hospice and hopes that people will support him in completing this global challenge by making a donation.
“I started raising money for Foyle Hospice because it’s local and it does so much for the people here in the North West,” he said.
“It’s a good cause, it’s really needed and they care for the people of this city and the North West. Foyle Hospice needs the funding and it feels good to know that I can help in some way.”
If you would like to make a donation in support of Dessie’s marathon effort, please visit Foyle Hospice donate.
The Tokyo Marathon only accepts 300 runners domestically (150 men and 150 women) and 50 overseas runners, (25 men and 25 women) so competition for entry was fierce.
Sunday’s marathon begins in front of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building and from there takes you on a tour past various landmarks and Tokyo Station before finishing at the Imperial Palace.
This course is certified by the JAAF, AIMS and World Athletics and results are considered unofficial. Finishing place is determined by net time.
There will be 38,000 runners in the marathon, with 37,500 runners and 10.7km race will have 500 runners.
The good news for McShane and all the runners is that the marathon runs on a flat course through the city's famous tourist spots.