IN THE two years since Limerick climber Mark Quinn became the youngest person born in the Republic to conquer Everest, the highest mountain in the world, he has been literally “chomping at the bit” to scale similar heights again.
Now, with not one, but two new targets in mind, the 29 year-old Rhebogue man will be taking on his second marathon in the Barringtons Hospital Great Limerick Run this Sunday to prepare for his next climb. “I can’t wait. There really is no feeling like it, running around your own city and seeing a different side to it,” he said.
He will be running alongside his older brother David during the 26.2miles course, for the first time in Mark’s fourth marathon to date.
But this June, Mark will be looking at a very different view, as he aims to become the first Irishman to climb K4 and K5, the 11th and 13th highest mountains in the world, in one single expedition.
No Irishman has successfully completed climbing one of these mountains in the Himalayas, and he admits that this is no deterrent to “taking the road less travelled” as many look to the “iconic Everest” over these difficult mountain climbs. “I am a bit nervous about it, but it’s excited nerves. I know it’s a big challenge and will be a risky business,” he said, adding that safety has been a major focus of his preparations in the last two years.
To prepare for the challenge ahead he took part in the Connemarathon, and climbed some of the notorious routes in Ben Nevis, the highest mountain range in Britain. To make it an even greater challenge Mark is also hoping to complete the journey on K4 and K5 without oxygen, and will only carry a supply to use in case of an emergency.
He will leave Shannon Airport on June 20 for Islamabad to be joined by a predominantly Belgian expedition, led by Dutch guide Arnold Coster who led his team on Everest, moving on to Gasherbrum base camp.
After raising funds for the Shane Geoghegan Trust from his last expedition, he has now chosen Limerick based Headstrong, which supports young people’s mental health, and Medicins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders), the world’s leading medical humanitarian organisation which works principally in emergency situations, to be the recipients of this next challenge. Mark said the support of his sponsors - Tayto, River Deep Mountain High, North Face, Ovio Studios and Altitude Gym - will allow for all the money raised to go directly to charity.
To support Mark log on to mycharity.ie/events/k4and5.