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Deca Ironman champion Gerry Duffy (left), pictured at the launch of his book last month with RTÉ sportscaster Jimmy Magee. INPHO/Donall Farmer

Mullingar man takes inaugural Deca Ironman crown

Gerry Duffy was one of only three men to finish the course – swimming 24 miles, cycling 1120 miles, then running for 262.

A MULLINGAR MAN who was previously four stone overweight has made athletic history – becoming the first winner of a Deca Ironman challenge, a gruelling 10-day test of athletic endurance.

Gerry Duffy was one of just three men (out of 20) to complete the torturous 10-day test – finishing one Ironman Triathlon every single day of the ten.

The race began every morning at 6am with a 2.4-mile swim, before a 112-mile cycle and a marathon run of 26.2 miles – a total course which saw Duffy travel over 1400 miles using his own body power and nothing more.

The routine took almost a full day to complete – in fact, the average time Gerry took to finish his daily trek was around 16 hours – leaving him barely enough time to get a few hours’ sleep before having to set out all over again.

But despite the length of the daily challenge, Duffy’s winning margin was an incredible 19 hours.

This morning, Duffy – who somehow managed to answer the phone, despite only finishing his tenth challenge after midnight last night – told Morning Ireland he had often wondered “what the hell I was doing for the last ten days”.

“The right leg is feeling a little bit worse for wear, but I’m resting up because it’s been non-stop for the last ten days.”

His challenge has been a bid to raise funds for Irish Autism Action. Donations can be made online.

The remarkable feat of endurance isn’t Duffy’s first – last summer he and a friend ran 32 marathons in 32 consecutive days, one in each county of Ireland, again to raise funds for needy charities.

That experience led him to write a book, ‘Who Dares, Runs’, which was released last month.

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