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Eighty-year-old marathon man Pat prepares for 38th Dublin race.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Eighty-year-old marathon man Pat prepares for 38th Dublin race. thumbnail Pat O’Loughlin, and his son Ciaran, will be joined by long-time running partner Jennie McMenamin and her daughter, Rachel, for Pat’s 38th Dublin Marathon on October 28.

LONG time runner and MS champion fundraiser Pat O'Loughlin is in training for 38th Dublin Marathon on October 28.

At 80 years old, thew Castlederg man has completed 36 of the 37 Dublin Marathons, the only person from Northern Ireland to have achieved such a feat, and has raised £70,000 for MS research in the process.

The only Dublin marathon Pat missed was in 2014 when he was confined to a hospital bed in Altnagelvin. His long-time friend and fundraising partner John Doherty joked "Pat was for getting up and running, we very nearly had to chain him to his hospital bed!" However Pat was back on his feet and running again the following year and is now in training for number 38.

Turning 81 in December, Pat is finding the training extra tough this time out but has enlisted friends and family to provide specialist advice on training.


His daughter Frances in Australia provides nutritional and training advice, his son Ciaran is a keen training partner and runner and the local physio Brian McHugh keeps him in tip top shape utilising recovery boots after his training sessions.


Pat also receives great support from the local GP surgery staff and doctors.

Pat said: "I maybe can't train as much as I once did and need to nurse myself around a bit, but we will keep going, I will get around that course again!"


With a personal best time of three hours and 30 minutes Pat is aiming for seven hours this year. A testament to slowing limbs but the perseverance and dedication of his hard work.

Pat credits the work of his team for his own staying power. "John organises me well and helps with the fundraising, my children help out a lot and my training partners always spur me on.


My long time running partner Jennie McMenamin has just enlisted her daughter Rachel who is 18, so I can now say my team covers the whole range 18 to 80!"


Talking about why he runs for the MS Society's research work Pat says "My friend's son Ian has MS and that drives me on. I want to wake up one day to hear they have made a big breakthrough in MS, I want to be part of that."


Pat specifically raises fund for MS Society's research work on myeline repair carried out in Cambridge.

This research is looking at how the body recovers from damage caused by MS.

Developments in myelin repair research are exciting and provide real potential for future MS therapies.

Tom Mallon Fundraising Manager for MS Society in NI said: "Pat is a hugely impressive man and a great asset, we just couldn't do the work we do without people like Pat and his team. We are hugely grateful and will be cheering him on again this year."


Pat received an MBE for services to the community in 2005 and was awarded a Gold Star by the MS Society for his fundraising. Pat is also part of the local MS Society branch which offers services and support to people with MS.

Pat's phone number is 02881671550.


Pat has a Just Giving page at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/patoloughlin

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