Dublin: 14°C Sunday 1 August 2021

The runner hoping to break a world record by soloing this weekend's Dublin Marathon

Oisín Weldon is trying to show others getting out and active can be a bit of fun and doesn’t need to be taken seriously.

Image: Mattock Rangers GAA/Facebook

IF THE PHYSICAL and mental challenge of running 26.2 miles wasn’t enough, one Louth man is attempting to break a world record by soloing a Gaelic football around the Dublin Marathon.

Oisín Weldon has completed Marathons, Ultra Marathons and The Race (Ireland’s toughest one-day race) in recent years but Sunday will provide an entirely different proposition for him.

As an accomplished runner, he’ll have no problem negotiating the course but doing so whilst safely soloing a size 5 match ball may prove to be a bit trickier.

He recently ran the Fingal 10k in a time of 52 minutes and 34 seconds but Sunday will the first time he attempts the feat on a marathon course.

“It can be very sore on your hamstrings and back, that kicking action over and over again,” he says. “Training has gone well, I’ve done a number of events but Sunday will be my one and only 26.2 mile event with the ball.”

Weldon, who is raising funds for his local GAA club Mattock Rangers, has been given the time of three hours 50 minutes to beat if he is to etch his name into the Guinness Book of World Records.

The current record was set by Cavan native Steve Duggan in 2004.

The rules are simple; if he drops the ball or oversteps then he has to retrieve it and go back to where the foul occurred.

“If I do a Michael Darragh Macauley and take eight steps I’ll be pulled up,” he says, joking.

“I’ll have an adjudicator with me but a lot of it will be down to self-policing too. I’ve come this far so there’s no point in cheating myself either.”

So far, Weldon has raised over €2,000 but he insists it’s about far more than the money, his motivation being the chance to incentivise others to get out and active by doing something fun.

“I’m doing it for the club, the village and community,” he added. “The GAA club is the cornerstone of every community and when I was asked to give something back I jumped at the chance.

“I see this as a chance to show people that you can do something like this having fun, being active and supporting others. It’s all a bit of fun really.”

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Ryan Bailey

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