Ice cream reward after doing JFK in less than 9 hours
There is something endearing about an athlete and a giant ice cream; it makes us all feel better about our own life choices. John McManus, an ultra marathon runner, has a Facebook page filled with photos of him and his brother having giant 99s after their races.
It’s become a bit of a thing now, and runners of all levels, from the 5k to the more challenging 10ks and mini marathons, send him photos of them enjoying cones when their races are over.
“I guess it’s one of our trademarks. It’s very funny we get a lot of pictures people send after their runs holding up ice creams. Ice cream is really good after a run, its like drinking milk – it’s good to settle the stomach,” said John
On Saturday John, who is from Fore, was the first person home in the ultra event the Moylagh JFK 50-Mile Challenge, after completing the course in 8 hours 43 minutes. To change the miles into kilometres, John was averaging 6.5mins per km for 80km non-stop. Living in Fore, John often trains along some of the Westmeath portion of the route, which dips into the county from Meath, from Mullaghmeen into Fore, across towards Glenidan before crossing back into Meath at Moylagh.
“Over the last four weeks, I’ve completed a marathon a week; and they were quite hilly ones, which helped significantly preparing for the JFK. It helped to keep me going,” said John. And not to give the impression that John has defied medical opinion and science with ice cream fuelling his achievements – he is a porridge fan.
“You need slow burners for energy. Porridge and honey and brown bread are really good foods for energy that will last longer. You really get to know a lot about yourself when you are running. I have also made some great friends over the years. We share our stories. What is so special about the JFK is that we all know someone that we have lost to cancer; we are all there supporting each other, not just in the achievement of taking part in the challenge but also in the sharing of our stories about people we are remembering and the reasons we are participating in an event raising money to fight cancer and fund research.”
John’s day was not finished in Moylagh when he crossed the finishing line. He ‘hoofed’ it straight into Mullingar to compete in an event for his Riding Club fundraiser and won with Riverdance Lip-sync.