Alan Corcoran is probably one of the most driven men in the country at the moment. The 26-year-old is no stranger to charity challenges, but this one is certainly something special!
‘Marathon Man’ is the title given to this particular feat; in May, Waterford’s own Alan will swim the equivalent of the length of Ireland in just 30 swims.
This adds up to a whopping 500km, which is 10,000 times the length of an Olympic-sized swimming pool, and16 times the length of the English Channel.
We’re tired just thinking about it.
The best part of it all? Alan hopes to raise €50,000 for charity through the challenge, and it’ll go to the Irish Cancer Society and the National Rehabilitation Hospital.
In 2012, Alan did a ’35 marathons in 35 days’ challenge, and it was a great success. For this, he felt he really had to pump it up.
Speaking to Buzz, Alan explained why this challenge is unique:
“I thought realistically nobody would donate to my charities if I decided to run more marathons (say 50 marathons in 50 days) so I had to think of something more difficult; something that was further outside my comfort zone that would challenge me and that would get people’s attention to donate.
“This is where the idea of the swim came from, as nobody has swam the full length of the coast before. I swam from the ages of 6 to 12 so I thought ‘how hard it could be?’”
Alan’s optimism took a bit of a hit when he realised the extent of the challenge.
“It turns out to be very hard. But, I’ve been putting in the effort since September and I’m getting comfortable at long distances now.”
Donate at http://www.marathonman.co/
So, how will he do it?
“The plan is to swim 6 hours each day with the tide at my back. Unlike the run where I knew I would complete 26.2 miles each day it’s practically impossible to say how far I will actually swim each time since it depends greatly on wind and sea conditions.
“I’m hoping to average around 15km each day but regardless of my daily distance I will not stop until I reach my hometown of Waterford. I will start from the Giant’s Causeway, Co. Antrim and will head south along the east coast until I land in Dunmore East, Co. Waterford.”
The main motivation behind the spectacular challenge is Alan’s dad. He suffered from a stroke in his final years, and the National Rehabilitation Hospital (NRH) gave him great support during his recovery.
Sadly, he passed away in August 2016 after a heartbreakingly short battle with cancer.
“When dad got diagnosed with cancer, it was only three weeks he had in hospital before dying. We were all helpless as we just hoped the chemo and medication would work. Not being able to do anything to help my dad that has done so much for me was the worst feeling I have ever experienced.
“I’m not a doctor or scientist so I can’t cure cancer and I can’t bring him back. But, by swimming this swim, I can feel like I have done something positive out of that hardship to try combat the disease, and to hopefully inspire people to be a bit more active and healthy to reduce their chances of being affected by cancer and strokes.”
The training involved in such an intense challenge must be gruelling, so we asked Alan how he’s finding it:
“Chris Bryan, Ireland’s top 10km marathon swimmer is looking after my training so I don’t need to think about it I just need to do it.”
“He’s provided plenty of variety but there’s no way of getting around spending hours before and after work and at weekends in the pool and in the gym.”
Here’s a snap of Alan in action; he’s explained on his Facebook post how hard it is to get the challenge organised too:
Donate at http://www.marathonman.co/