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Dublin: 5 °C Wednesday 29 January, 2020

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.

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

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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Gavan Reilly

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