TRAP BACKS LAP of Ireland marathon runner Alan Corcoran who is set to run 35 marathons back to back in aid of the Irish Heart Foundation’s Act FAST stroke programme. Just days ahead of Ireland’s friendly against the Czech Republic, big-hearted Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni has backed Waterford’s 21-year-old ‘Marathon Man’ who is set to become the first man to run a lap of Ireland in 917 miles straight.
Inspired by his father Milo, former FAI President who suffered a stroke just under a year ago, Alan has taken on the unique challenge to raise awareness of stroke and drive donations in aid of the Irish Heart Foundation’s lifesaving Act FAST campaign, the National Rehabilitation Centre and the Football Village of Hope charity.
Trapattoni said: “I admire the dedication of Alan Corcoran to run 35 marathons in 35 days to complete a lap of Ireland. It is an incredible test of endurance and fitness. In particular I admire that Alan is putting himself to the test to raise funds for the Irish Heart Foundation’s campaign. It is a strong tribute to Alan’s father Milo, a member of the FAI Board, that Alan’s unique challenge will do so much to support the good work being done by the charity. I wish Alan the best of luck and I hope the people of Ireland will support him in his cause.”
Alan’s marathon challenge will start on 27th May 2012, and by the first day of the European Championships in Poland on 8th June, he will have 286 miles under his belt completing his 11th day out of 35. The 35 Marathon Man is set to reach the end of his lap of Ireland on 30thJune, just in time to watch the Euro 2012 final on 1st July, much to his father Milo’s relief.
Stroke survivor and FAI board member Milo Corcoran said: “Alan has always been a talented athlete with more than 25 All-Ireland medals for athletics. But even still I never expected him to undertake such an enormous challenge and to use me as his inspiration. But then, I also never thought I would have a stroke.”
On 15 March 2011, Milo returned home from a UEFA meeting in Switzerland when he felt extremely tired and his “head felt full”. When he woke up two hours later he couldn’t see properly and one side of his body felt stiff. That was when he knew he was having a stroke. He said: “My balance was gone and I couldn’t get out of bed but my phone was near and I called my wife, Marie. I was lucky I was able to talk on the phone. I tried to drink a glass of water but I couldn’t swallow. Our doctor called 999 for an ambulance immediately and I was rushed to Waterford Regional Hospital.”
Nearly 10,000 strokes happen in Ireland every year and one in five people will have a stroke in their lifetime. Like many stroke survivors, Milo endured months of rehabilitation to help him go from wheelchair to walking frame to independent mobility. Almost a year later, Milo has returned to driving with just a slight numbness remaining down one side.
He said: “I know I’m one of the lucky ones. Stroke is a serious medical emergency and I was lucky that everyone around me knew to Act FAST and call 999 immediately, thanks to the Irish Heart Foundation’s awareness campaign. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the work of the Irish Heart Foundation and the National Rehabilitation Centre. More and more people know someone like me, who has been affected by stroke and it can happen at any age. I hope the people of Ireland will support Alan’s efforts with a donation onwww.35marathonman.ie .”
Alan is urging the public to donate €1 for every marathon he completes or as much as they can give. The town planning student is also seeking corporate sponsorship and companies interested in supporting Alan are encouraged to call Sinead O’Keeffe in the Irish Heart Foundation on 01 6685001. www.35marathonman.ie