Coalisland dad laces up his running shoes for 40th birthday challenge

Bosco McShane, his newborn daughter Erin Rose, and Irish champion athlete Sonia O'Sullivan

Bosco McShane, his newborn daughter Erin Rose, and Irish champion athlete Sonia O'Sullivan

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Without doubt, turning 40 is a major milestone in anybody’s life, but Coalisland man Bosco McShane has come up with a novel way of celebrating his big birthday this weekend.

Never one to rest on his laurels, Bosco - who welcomed his fifth child Erin Rose into the world with wife Lynette on Easter Sunday - will be running the whole way from his home town to Coleraine on Sunday, all in aid of Coalisland Fianna’s youth development.

There has been huge interest in Bosco’s 40 for 40 event, with running clubs travelling from throughout Tyrone and further afield to join in along the various distances.

You don’t even need to be a runner to come along, says Bosco, as walkers are more than welcome too.

The distances open to competitors are 20 miles (registration from 9.30am), half marathon (registration from 1.15pm), 10km (registration from 1pm) and 5km (registration from 1.30pm).

Refreshments and shower facilities will be available to all those taking part at the Fianna clubrooms afterwards, where there will also be a feast of family entertainment on offer, including face painting and bouncy castles, plus much more.

Bosco told the TIMES he is looking forward to putting on his running shoes again for his beloved Coalisland Fianna: “I always had it in my head that I would like to do something memorable for my 40th birthday. Why not do something like this when you are fit and able to do it? You are blessed if you can do it, so it’s as good a time as any.

“This will be a real community event and a lot of running clubs are travelling for it. Everybody is welcome to come along and cheer us on and enjoy the entertainment afterwards in Coalisland.”

The father-of-five also managed to meet up with Irish champion athlete Sonia O’Sullivan this week and quipped that she gave him some useful advice about his upcoming challenge.

Bosco urges anyone interested in taking up running to come along to the Na Fianna Runners weekly meetings at Gortgonis track in Coalisland every Tuesday and Thursday from 6.30pm.

Anyone who would like to register their participation in any of the runs on Sunday can contact Bosco on 07900955655 or check out the Bosco’s 40 for 40 event page on Facebook.