Great Limerick Run: Cross Country Pat to finish marathon after 80th birthday

Fintan Walsh


Fintan Walsh


Pat O'Regan turns 80 one week before he takes part in his ninth consecutive Great Limerick Run

Pat O'Regan turns 80 one week before he takes part in his ninth consecutive Great Limerick Run

ON MAY 1, fitness fanatic Pat O’Regan will turn 80. One week after that, he will run in his ninth consecutive Great Limerick Run, proving that age is simply just a number.

For 61 years, the Caherdavin man has been running long distance, and started his lengthy athletics career coming second in the County Junior Cross Country championship in 1957.

The former Limerick Athletics Club veteran won numerous titles at various levels throughout the early 1960s. He highlighted his dedication to the sport when he was driving to the 1962 All-Ireland Cross Country team championships.

After his car broke down, he ran through three miles of fields to attend the race, in which he finished 10th.

The former CIE worker, who would run up to 10 miles every morning, will continue this dedication to the sport at this year’s Great Limerick Run.

The avid athlete has competed in 18 marathons, achieving a personal best of two hours and 42 minutes, and has won an over-70s marathon, half-marathon and All-Ireland Veterans race.

There was no slowing him down, even when he got surgery on his hip at the age of 70. Pat has always been a great supporter of Bon Secours Great Limerick Run and has taken part since the beginning.

This will be his ninth consecutive year, although with his 80th birthday the week before and having had his hip done, he has opted to walk rather than run this year.

He remains very active in his later years, more so than most with swimming, gym sessions and two hour walks and he continues to run when his hip allows.

Meanwhile, the amount raised for charity at the 2018 Great Limerick Run is set to smash through the €1m barrier for the first time, it recently emerged at a council meeting.

Three runs will take place: a half-marathon, a fun-run, and the full marathon.