a CITY solicitor is celebrating after completing a gruelling midnight sun marathon in one of the coldest places on earth - and raising over €1,000 for a worthy local cause.
Derek Walsh, of Holmes O’Malley Sexton, jetted into Tromso, in Norway’s extreme north, where he completed the marathon, which spread over 42km.
Tromso lies 300km inside the Arctic Circle. The Midnight sun marathon is the world’s northernmost marathon.
Derek completed the course in just four hours and two minutes - and reported the temperature was a surprisingly mild 12 degrees.
He joined 700 others from around the world at the race, raising some €1,423 in sponsorship for St Gabriel’s in Dooradoyle, which provides support for children with sensory and physical disabilities.
In order to successfully tackle the marathon, Derek endured an intensive four month training program. Since he was raising money for St Gabriel’s, he was able to take advantage of their state-of-the-art hydrotherapy pool, where water is heated to 32 degrees, helping to ease his tired muscles.
A long time supporter of the Dooradoyle charity, Derek also completed the Paris Marathon last year in aid of St Gabriel’s.
He admitted that running under the midnight sun was a “strange” experience, because the race kicked off at around 9.30pm, and finished around 2am.
“The sun was always in the sky and it was beating down on you. It was a great experience, but fairly tough going,” he reported.
Derek thanked everyone for their sponsorship, including his colleagues in Holmes O’ Malley Sexton who were very supportive.
Asked why he chose to support St Gabriel’s, he added: “I have met people on the streets in Limerick who were able to tell me of someone who had a child or friend with some form of disability and who use the pool. I even met older folks who go to the pool during the public open times to help their arthritis. I was very pleased and proud to contribute to St.Gabriel’s.”
Kate Sheahan, fundraiser at St.Gabriel’s praised the solicitor.
“We are extremely grateful to Derek again for undertaking this amazing marathon in what seems like a spectacular landscape. It is his second time taking part in a marathon to raise money for St.Gabriel’s hydrotherapy pool. Running costs of the hydrotherapy pool reach €150,000 annually but support comes from individual contributions, corporate donations and from local businesses together with money gathered from a wide range of fundraising activities and special events. We could not achieve it without the support and goodwill of people like him,” she said.