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  • Writer's pictureBarra Oconnell

Member Profile: Mark Murphy

Name: Mark Murphy 

Member of Eagle AC since:  2016

How long have you been running what made you take it up:

I started running in 2011. I started running because my god daughter Béibhinn O Connor was born with a serious heart defect. At the time she needed a surgery which would require funding. So I decided I would do something crazy and run the Cork City Marathon to raise what I could. At the time some of my friends laughed because they couldn't imagine me finishing. But they soon got behind me and with Béibhinns inspiration I did run my first marathon in Cork in 2012. Also brook the 4hr barrier which was brilliant, cut it close though 3:59. By the time the marathon came around Béibhinns brilliant parents Eoin and Irene had secured funding through the HSE for the surgery. So I donated the money I raised to the heart ward in Crumlin Children's hospital

Favourite thing about running: My favourite things about running are the headspace you get while running. The fact that you only need to compete against yourself and your own goals and times. Also I love being outside and the obvious health benefits running gives you.

Favourite race distance to run: My favourite distance to run is the Marathon. I love the training for a marathon over a 12 to 14 week plan, the way you can see week by week improvement if you do it right. But most of all I love the event itself, it really feels like a big deal when you arrive at the start line and you know you will normally get out of it what you put into it.

What is your main goal for this year:

To be honest my biggest goal for this year is to get back running constantly and improving. The last 18 months has been the most difficult in my life. Béibhinn sadly passed away in September 2020 at 9 years of age due to complications after her latest heat surgery. I can't tell how much that rocked our world, and changed our lives forever. Béibhinn is an inspiration to us all and her parents Eoin and Irene are absolutely amazing. Béibhinn will never be forgotten and now she even has a charity formed in her name www.theheartangle.com.

7 months after Béibhinn passed, in April 2021 my Dad died at the age of 67. My dad to me was also a very good friend and work colleague and you could say life coach, always supportive and on my side in a crises. We were left in shock and devastation after his passing.

So my goal this year is to get back racing and to use the inspiration from Béibhinn and my Dad to live life to the fullest while we can.

I will be Running Boston Marathon this weekend in their honor, it will be a very emotional race for me but I hope I do them proud.

Your best race/most memorable racing moment to date: My best race was probably the Berlin marathon in 2019. Everything seem to click on the day, I felt good throughout which I never experienced in a marathon before. So I felt in that race the I got what my training deserved which often doesn't happen in a marathon.

My most memorable racing experience was my first marathon in Cork in 2012. When I came (fell) across the finish line I saw all of my close family and friends including Béibhinn and my Dad.

Tell us something most people might not know about you:

Biggest heroes (sporting or non-sporting): Well my biggest heroes in my life would be Béibhinn and her parents Eoin and Irene. If you met Béibhinn you would understand why, she was dealt a really difficult hand from day one. She never let it set her back though. She was always smiling and happy and you would never know she was sick because she didn't show it, ever. She has also an amazing group of friends. Her mom and dad really amaze me with there strength and determination that Béibhinn will not be forgotten and she will continue to do good. They raised around 100k for The Make A Wise charity in Béibhinns 6 months after she passed. Heroes doesn't even come close to describing them.

One bit of advice you would give to someone thinking of taking up running:

My advise to someone taking up running is be patient, don't let the knocks get you down. Take it easy on the easy days and don't push it in training if your body says no. Thake a step back and go again.

3 things you would take with you onto a desert island:

I would take my runners ofcouse, lol. I would definitely bring an ipod, really love listening to music, and my wife ofcourse 😉. Who it has to be said without her I would never be able to do what I really love doing.

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