Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Gerry Forde completes 100km Ultra-Marathon in Portumna...
This Ultra-Marathon was Gerry's 212th Marathon and as a wheelchair athlete, he has completed more than anyone else in the UK or Ireland. It may well be possible that he has completed more than anyone else in the Europe or even the USA?
Gerry's time for the 100k was 13:02:11. In essence, that means he started the race at 6am on Saturday morning and didn't finish until just after 7pm that evening. In terms of physical effort and endurance, it's just huge. I myself took part in the 50k race with a small group of club members from Eagle AC who traveled up from Cork for the event. By the time we started the 50k race at 8am, Gerry was already two hours into the 100k. We had finished our 50k race and were back home in Cork at 4pm while Gerry was still out on the course with another 3 hours to go!
Just to put the distance into perspective, 100 kms is roughly the equivalent of starting a race on Patrick's Street in Cork City and finishing on O'Connell Street in Limerick City! When put in those terms, it's amazing that anyone could go that far.
Gerry's race wasn't without it's drama though as it looked as if just 10 kms short of the finish line, he would have to pull out due to a slow puncture. However, the organisers managed to find a bicycle pump somewhere and kept Gerry going for the last 2 laps.
Needless to say, you might have thought that Gerry would have tapered especially for this race? Not a bit of it! While a group of us were having a pre-race meal in Portumna at 8pm last Friday, Gerry was taking part in the 4 mile race in Inniscarra in Cork! The mind boggles as to how he could do a race on Friday evening and somehow appear at the start line in Portumna (2.5 hour drive) at 6am the following morning for the 100k!
What's his next adventure? We'll have to wait and see ;o)
Photo Credit...Iain Shaw of Athenry AC