Coalisland man’s marathon effort for children’s charity

Gerard Devlin pictured with Oisin and Eoghain Rua McShane.
Gerard Devlin pictured with Oisin and Eoghain Rua McShane.

A Coalisland man has completed an impressive 12 marathons inside 12 months all in aid of a children’s charity.

Gerard Devlin, 52, set himself the challenge to complete 12 marathons in the Tyrone area to raise money for Childline.

Speaking to the TIMES about his achievement, Gerard said: “I normally run for Childline and the NSPCC and I average out about two or three marathons per year so I decided to go at it from a different angle this year. I have always wanted to try twelve in twelve so I decided to give it a go.

“January this year was my first marathon, I normally go to all the European marathons but I decided this year I would run 12 marathons just within the Tyrone area and I worked off the GPS system on my watch. I got dropped off 26 miles from home and ran back.”

Gerard continued: “I also did a few in Drumcairne Forest, the 1.2km path so you had to do 42 laps around it. The last registered marathon I did was the Derry marathon.”

Speaking about the reason behind his chosen charity, Gerard said he has always ran for children’s charities, for the last 25 years.

“I have been running for 25 years now and a few years ago a charity called ‘Dreams Come True’ approached me for terminally ill children and they are self-funding. So through the Make a Wish Foundation they fund trips all over the world to the likes of Disneyworld for these sick children, so from that organisation came around those years ago I have always stayed with the children’s charities like the NSPCC and Childline.

“I have just completed my 45th marathon and it does get difficult to approach people for sponsorship everytime. I just basically try and raise as much as I can and have had some donations from friends and family and people around the town.

“I have no target or anything just whatever I can collect for them.”