"Scuba Mark" completes Dublin Marathon
A Mullingar man, known as "Scuba Mark", ran the Dublin Marathon and finished in a time of 4:24:26.
The diving instructor and fitness trainer, who prefers to remain anonymous so that attention is focused on his causes, is raising money Project Aware.
Project Aware is a non-profit organisation which tries to not only reduce the plastic pollution in the ocean but also to lobby governments to change their policies to reduce the problem at the source. They also focus on Shark and Ray conservation.
"Scuba Mark" recently ran the Chicago marathon to raise money for Project Aware, and did so this weekend once again in the Dublin Marathon:
"The day went great and the support was immense. I finished in 4:24:26. I'm determined to do it again next year with the aim of getting into the Guinness World Records," he says.
"I've nearly reached my target of €3000 and I'm still fundraising until November 7, so I am optimistic.
"People that donate can win entry to next years Dublin marathon which is huge after they announced it's changing to a lottery next year so hopefully that will drum up more donations."
Previously, Scuba Mark ran the 2015 Dublin marathon in a fully inflatable Mr Blobby costume to raise funds for the Irish Cancer society. This year, Scuba Mark was part of the Project AWARE 2019 Bank of America Chicago Marathon Team to raise at least €3,000 to help secure a brighter future for the health of our oceans and specifically the critical issue of marine debris.
He says pollution is the one of the overarching stressors currently affecting the health of the ocean and marine debris is one of the biggest sources of pollution.
"Pollution from human activity has seriously damaging effects on marine ecosystems. Marine animals become entangled in debris, and even mistake it for food – often with fatal results. Project AWARE supports policies to stop ocean pollution at the source.
"Funds raised by the marathon team support Project AWARE conservation work and fuel the grassroots action and policy change necessary to ensure a clean, healthy ocean for us today and for future generations.
"As a lover of the ocean, I’m very aware that its protection depends on all of our actions, large and small."
"People have asked me why I am doing this as it is tough and risky for my health and body. I feel the risk is necessary to show people my passion for this cause.
"I honestly cannot bear to watch what we are doing to the planet and its inhabitants. Every small change adds up and everyone has a part to play.
"Humankind has wiped out 60% of mammals, birds, fish and reptiles since 1970, leading experts to warn that the annihilation of wildlife is now an emergency that threatens civilisation.
"Some studies suggest that humans have destroyed 83% of mammals since the dawn of civilisation and that even if that were to stop immediately, it would take 5-7 million years for the natural world to recover.
"For as long as I can remember, I have had a love of the outdoors and wildlife. However, my love for the ocean and its inhabitants has eclipsed anything I have experienced previously.
"During the last three years I have immersed myself in the world of scuba diving and marine life.
"I have been lucky enough to have seen some of the most beautiful sights beneath the surface that this world has to offer and viewed some of the most incredible creatures on the planet.
"Unfortunately, I have equally seen some of the most troubling sights on the planet first-hand. Entire coral reefs destroyed by bleaching, sea turtles caught in plastic and fishing nets completely covering reefs.
"Oceans, not of water any more but of plastic, and countless marine creatures dead due to the negative effect that the human species has had on this planet. These sights have had a profound effect on me.
"I decided that I had to make a change and work to repair the damage that we as a species have done. The creatures of this planet are innocent victims of the effects of our actions and we must try to make amends."
* To find out more go to Facebook Page; https://www.facebook.com/ScubaMarathon. You can donate online at; https://www.facebook.com/donate/573593106714404/