Marathon mad West Hampstead teacher breaks world record
A WEST Hampstead teacher crossed the finishing line last week after running 2,750 miles to smash the world record for the greatest number of consecutive marathons.
Neil O’Maonaigh-Lennon, 30, completed 105 marathons in as many days on December 23 in a bid to raise �10,000 for Cancer Research UK.
The super athlete previously ran 30 consecutive marathons when he navigated the coastline of Taiwan three years ago, and this time hammered the world record, which had previously stood at 52.
And how did he celebrate such an epic feat? By going for a run the next day of course.
“I went for a jog on Christmas Eve to keep the muscles limber,” he said.
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“I have been for a few jogs since then and played a game of tennis.
“I really do love running. It feels strange to have stopped but I feel very content to have achieved what I set out to do.
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“I was absolutely elated and ecstatic to cross the line. It was an incredible feeling.
“One thing I have discovered is there are no limits to how many consecutive marathons you can run.
“The further I went the stronger and faster I actually got. The body has adapted very well – especially compared to the first few stages when I had a lot of injuries.
“It was a case of persevering through them and allowing the body to really surprise itself. The body can do wonderful things when you push it.”
Over the last few weeks Mr O’Maonaigh-Lennon was joined on his runs by dozens of well-wishers and fellow fundraisers who completed half marathons and 10 kilometre runs alongside him. Among them was his mother Cathy and his auntie Frances.
He used a GPS watch to measure exactly where he started and finished each leg of his run so the precise distances could be accurately tracked.
His father Pat Mooney, who worked as Ham&High sports editor for 29 years, said: “He was very lucky with the weather in recent weeks – he beat the snow in Scotland, Wales and Cornwall. Two weeks ago was the only time he encountered any snow or sleet.
“I’m extremely proud of him. I was a bit worried about whether his body would hold up but he got quicker and quicker as he got into the 90s and 100s.
“He promised there would be no walking and that he would run every step of the way and he was true to his word. What he’s done is pretty mind boggling – to run so many marathons one after the other really defies logic.”
Mr O’Maonaigh-Lennon, who teaches English as a foreign language around the world, lost both grandfathers to cancer and undertook the challenge to raise cash for Cancer Research UK.
Although the challenge is now complete, he is hoping Ham&High readers will continue to donate to help him reach his target of �10,000.
Anyone wishing to make a donation should visit www.marathonmad105.com or text RUN105 to 70003 to sponsor him �3.