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Monday 5 December 2016

Dublin dad who took up running to beat depression ready to run North Pole marathon

Cycle Against Suicide founder Jim Breen (left) and Gary Seery (right) from Bayside who will be competing in a North Pole Marathon during a 5k fun run in the Phoenix Park, Dublin
Cycle Against Suicide founder Jim Breen (left) and Gary Seery (right) from Bayside who will be competing in a North Pole Marathon during a 5k fun run in the Phoenix Park, Dublin

A DUBLIN man has revealed how he has gone from rock bottom to feeling on top of the world as he prepares to run a marathon in the North Pole next month.

Gary Seery (39) took up running in 2010 in order to fight against depression. Now, five years and over 50 marathons later, the Bayside man is training for his toughest challenge yet.

The dad-of-three will battle through snow and ice in temperatures as low as -30C during the UVU North Pole Marathon on April 9.

To get used to the conditions, Gary admitted he has had to use some unusual training techniques.

"I've been running a lot on the beach to get used of the soft ground," he told the Herald.

"I've also been training in a fridge to get used to the temperature, so I've been using a fridge down in East Wall. I'm running in there three mornings a week to get used to the cold, it's -24C. It's pretty intense."

Despite the extreme conditions, Gary, who ran 28 marathons last year alone, couldn't be more excited to compete.

After being diagnosed with depression over five years ago, the East Wall native took up running to boost his mood.

delighted

"I had a mental illness and I took up running to combat that," he explained. "I've been getting up to different levels as I've been going along and the North Pole marathon is something I've always wanted to do. I'm just delighted to have a chance to do it.

"Running has worked for me. It's meant that I can stop taking medication. It's helped me with battles all along the way and it just gives you that headspace that you need, while also producing endorphins which are natural anti-depressants."

Gary is undertaking the mammoth task to raise funds for a house renovation project with charity Habitat Ireland, to refurbish a house for a young family in need.

Follow Gary's progress at 26.2northpole.com or donate at habitatireland.ie/gary-seery.

hnews@herald.ie

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