herald

Monday 21 August 2017

End of THE road for Tony aFTER INCREDIBLE 50,000KM

For Liberties man Tony Mangan yesterday's Dublin marathon wasn't a 40km affair but the end of a 50,000km one as he finished running around the world.

"It was an incredible run, an incredible journey, the final step in Merrion Square was exactly 50,000km, exactly the final footstep and not a metre more," said the 57-year-old ultra runner.

Having run across five continents, six deserts and 41 countries over the last four years he is now "pleasantly shattered."

"I'm happy it's finished but sad that the dream is over.

STRANGE

"Life is going to be very, very strange. I was asking myself what I was going to do with my life when the running was all over. I guess I'll be taking off my running shoes and putting on street shoes instead," Tony told the Herald.

He thought that his running days were over but having been met by a certain someone at the finish line yesterday he is not so sure.

The race director of the North Pole Marathon, Richard Donovan, presented Tony with free entry to the coolest marathon in the world at Merrion Square yesterday.

Of all the roads he ran on he said Thailand had the safest motorways and in Europe, Ireland was at the bottom of the safety league table.

"Ireland probably had the most dangerous roads since I left India - not a huge amount but the most dangerous in Europe with bad bends and people going past me too closely.

"Ireland was the lowest on the league table. I'd even put Iran and Turkey ahead of Ireland."

He ran through America, Central America, South America, Indonesia, Australia, the Middle East and India and Iran was by far his favourite place.

"I found myself at the receiving end of all the hospitality in Iran. I found the Iranian people high-class people," said Tony.

While he says that he will have a lie-in today he will get busy with his book and wants to take on motivational speaking now that his epic journey of 50,000km has come to and end.

book

Tony does not have a name for his book just yet but hopes that it will be out in time for Christmas 2015.

He has charted his entire journey on his blog, The World Jog, and thinks that the tale of his run will have a political element after seeing the vast inequality around the world.

"The oppression of women - that was one of the sad things for me on the run - I didn't see one single Peruvian woman drive a car for example," said Tony who ran for the charity Aware.

"I've never suffered from depression but I just felt it was a big issue," he said.

jfegan@herald.ie

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