‘I broke my collarbone in the course of a 160km mountain race in Tennessee. No assist changed into coming, it turned into a depend of survival’




“I KNOW IN my very own head that it’s the only recreation.” Eoin Keith sits again in his chair and smiles, explaining why he, again and again, puts himself through what many would deem a tortuous, psychologically thoughts-bending workout of pain and suffering. “It’s all simply a bit of amusing, absolutely,” he grins.
The 50-year-vintage Cobh local is currently Ireland’s maximum adorned and distinguished ultra runner and has helped push the sport on leaps and boundaries at domestic and at the worldwide stage over the last many years because project his first marathon rapidly after his thirtieth birthday returned in 1998.
Ultra strolling, via its definition, is classed as any footrace longer than 42km, the gap of your average, traditional marathon. An IT analyst inside the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin’s metropolis center, Keith has risen to turn out to be one of the best runners ever produced in this united states. Not in phrases of velocity; patience and distance are the prominent name traits worried right here.
Mental resilience, distance included and being able to face up to a wrong dose of ache at some stage in a number of the toughest strolling and journey races throughout the whole globe, that’s the name of the sport.
Broken bones, pulled muscle tissue, dehydration, actually going days without sleep (52 hours is his non-public record), struggling wild hallucinations — ache is par for the route, he says. All of this mixed collectively not merely to compete in entire events, but to be successful, try to reap excellence and, indeed else, be a winner in his field.

His trophy cupboard is packed complete of facts, medals, and silverware. Keith is the present day 24-hours and 6-day Irish strolling champion. He located first at Britain’s ‘maximum brutal race’ – The Spine – lower back in January 2016, where he finished the 431km course in just ninety five hours and 23 minutes, shaving a whopping five hours and 22 mins off the previous file.
He retook glory in June 2016 at the inaugural Northern Traverse race, which sees competitors take on the grueling 300km ‘Wainwright path’ that starts on the west coast of Britain, passes via the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors before finishing at the east coast.
Keith completed the complete course in only 51 hours and 37 mins, finishing an impressive five hours ahead of England’s John Knapp in second place.
On the pinnacle of this, he also holds the file for the 50-mile Wicklow Way race, finished a brilliant 5th inside the World 24-hour Running Championships and has located fourth inside the European Championships too. “Fifth in the global, for someone who’s used to coming fiftieth was brilliant from my point of view,” he smiles.
In May 2017 he additionally set a new, precise international document by jogging the entire length of Ireland, 550km from Mizen Head to Malin Head, in only three days, 3 hours and forty-seven minutes, smashing the previous report by way of extra than 12 hours on a gloriously solar-sopping wet morning in Donegal.
His feats are not anything short of outstanding in a game designed to push a human body to its absolute limit. It is extending the boundaries of what’s feasible for one individual to run, all the while checking out one’s bodily and mental patients to its severe periphery. A game designed to make or ruin you, necessarily.

Keith turned into by no means lots use at conventional sports like football, rugby and GAA developing up in Cobh, he confesses, casting his mind returned. One of the maximum appealing elements of ultra jogging is that absolutely everyone can take part, no-count number of your physical capability, muscular tissues, velocity or heritage. All you need is a real and genuine desire, and you’re right to move, he says.
“Getting into remarkably walking, absolutely everyone can do it. There is a lot to get out of it because it isn’t necessarily approximately the racing, it could just be about competing. Competing is a target and an achievement in and of itself.

Keith never became tons use at traditional sports like football, rugby, and GAA developing up in Cobh, he confesses, casting his mind returned. One of the most attractive elements of ultra going for walks is that genuinely every person can take part, no matter of your physical capability, muscle tissues, velocity or history. All you want is an accurate and authentic preference, and also you’re desirable to head, he says.
“Getting into remarkably walking, all people can do it. There is so much to get out of it because it isn’t always about the racing; it could just be about competing. Competing is a goal and a success in and of itself.




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