Friday, June 14, 2024
GeneralDarren's set to take on Rome Marathon

Darren’s set to take on Rome Marathon

A NEWCASTLE man is running the Rome Marathon on St Patrick’s Day in aid of The Cancer Fund for Children’s Daisy Lodge centre. Darren McAnallen will take on his first ever marathon against the backdrop of Italy’s capital city, alongside friends and fellow Newcastle locals Gerard Fitzpatrick, Thomas Ireland and John Kelly.

A senior account director at LinkedIn, Darren is undertaking a 15-week structured training programme in preparation for the event. “If you had told me three months ago I could run a marathon I would have laughed at you but training is going well and I’m now confident I’ll get it done. “There’s a mix of slow, fast interval and tempo days then one long run each week, it’s intense but it’s going well and keeping me busy,” Darren said.

Darren already has experience of some longer distance runs, last year completing the 26km ‘Run the Line’ event in Wicklow and the Tollymore 21km Trail Half Marathon. Not content to simply complete the 26.2-mile run in Rome, Darren hopes to break the fourhour mark, adding to the intensity of his training regime. “I want to break four hours, I would like to get close to 3.30, so that means my training is a little more intense. “It’s five runs a week, coupled with a full-time job. It is a lot; you finish work, you go for a run, then it’s all the eating correctly, the stretching and making sure you’re doing the right mobility stuff to remain injury-free. “It takes up pretty much all of my time at the minute.”

Having felt the impact of cancer close to home, Darren decided he wanted to give back to one of the many charities that help those impacted by the disease. “I’ve been affected by cancer in my own family. My grandmother passed away six years ago in April, I’d seen cancer charities provide great support for her, so I wanted to give something back. “My mother was then diagnosed at the back end of last year, so that really spurred me on to do something”, Darren explained.

When one of his best friend’s daughters was diagnosed with Leukaemia, it persuaded the 33- year-old to run the Rome Marathon in aid of The Cancer Fund for Children and Daisy Lodge, the charity’s therapeutic centre for short breaks, near Newcastle. “One of my best friend’s daughters, who’s only three years old, was diagnosed with Leukaemia about 18 months ago and she has had great help from various charities. “I recognise the great work they do here (at Daisy Lodge) and because it’s local, I thought it was a charity I could resonate with. “My grandmother was fortunate to have a great life, she lived well into her 70s and raised children and grandchildren but it’s small children that have had that privilege taken away from them, that doesn’t sit right with me, so that’s my purpose I suppose. “My younger cousin, Shane McAnallen, and his best friend, Marty Patterson, will also be in my thoughts as the marathon takes place on the fifth anniversary of their passing.”

Darren’s JustGiving page has already totalled close to £2,500, raising £1,000 just a day after it went online. “I’ve been blown away. I posted the JustGiving page on Saturday the 3rd of February with the pre-set goal of £1,000 and when I woke up on Sunday that had already been hit. “I then shared it at work and a lot of my colleagues donated, bringing the total up to over £2,000. “I’m very grateful for the generosity of my friends, family and colleagues that have offered their support,” Darren said.

If you would like to donate to Darren’s JustGiving page, you can do so by accessing the following link:

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