A NEW PERSONAL AND GUINNESS WORLD RECORD FOR FERMOY'S OWN COLIN CARROLL
Fermoy solicitor, Colin Carroll and his running partner, John Meade from White’s Cross are the two remarkable men who smashed the Guinness world record for the three-legged marathon on the crowded streets of Cork on Monday. They broke the 3hrs 40min record, previously held by English twins, Nick and Alastair Benbow, knocking 15 minutes off the time, setting the new record at 3hrs 25 mins.
On Tuesday, there was not one bone and muscle in Colin’s body that didn’t ache, but the win made it all worth the gruelling eight months of training. The Cork marathon took place on the bank holiday Monday, June 2, and it benefited from the participation of over 8,000 brave participants.
The day got off to a good start as it turned out to be a bright sunny day, no rain in sight. The key factor was that there was no wind.
"We started the race at the front, as we were like a truck. You can overtake a truck, but a truck rarely overtakes you," Colin says.
For the first three to four miles, the two men were leading the race, but around mile 4 they had to force themselves to slow down. They made sure that they stayed hydrated and consumed enough carbohydrates to fuel them with much needed energy. Colin hit a wall around mile 22, when he felt as if he had "concrete blocks tied to his legs, but John was feeling strong".
“We started going uphill in Ballincollig. It broke me mentally. Then, a two-mile stretch followed, with no spectators. You feel like crying. It looked like the Sahara desert, a lonely place. There was no cheering and no one to give you a bottle of water. Miles 24 and 25 were going on a trail, and again, there was no support".
"I always say that a marathon is in fact 22 miles, as the runners carry the last four miles on their own, with no support. When we turned the corner onto Patrick Street, it was such an uplifting moment. We saw the huge crowds cheering. It was like a game of hide-and-seek. You didn’t expect it.”
One of the unpleasant surprises the two men encountered and didn’t anticipate was the water bottles everywhere on the road.
“I felt I was dodging landmines in Beirut”, Colin says.
That added to the difficulty factor already present since the two were running tied to each other and if one of them fell, the other one would have followed. On the positive side, the comments from the audience: “Are you just out of jail” or “Mummy why are they tied together?” lifted the duo’s spirits.
For now Colin, who has undertaken many unusual challenges, is looking forward to just rest and relax, to let his body heal, before he goes in search of his new adventure. Colin joins Sonia O’Sullivan, the only other Corkonian in the Guinness Book of Records.
Thursday 5th June 7:08pm