Exhausted Deirdre says 115 mile run was ‘horrendous’

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A Cookstown woman has described her 115-mile charity run from Dublin to Belfast as “horrendous.”

Mum-of-two Deirdre Conway has managed to raise almost £2,500 for two charities - Draperstown-based STEPS and Community Search and Rescue.

“It was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life,” she said “It tore me to pieces.”

Deirdre, the first woman from Mid Ulster to complete the Dublin2Belfast Ultra, said she would not have been able to run the event without help from her dedicated support team.

“They were literally having to hold me up,” she said. “I was sleeping as I was running at times and they were having to hold me up on my feet so that I could keep going. I didn’t expect that amount of pain.”

The Sperrin Harrier admitted she wouldn’t have been able to complete the ultra without their assistance.

The 53-year-old has run for various charities since she took up the sport nine years ago.

In the build-up to the event, she was running up to 50 miles and over and thought that would be enough for her to “wing it.”

But despite her training, which included four marathons back to back, and vast experience in distance running (she has run 66 marathons), she suffered “terrible pain” during this run.

She and the other runners taking part left St James Gate Dublin at 12 noon on Friday and finished at the Crown Bar in Belfast city centre.

Many dropped out as the miles rolled passed and they headed north towards the border.

One of the toughest stretches for Deirdre was the seven mile road from Poyntzpass to Banbridge. “That was really tough for me but I was determined to keep going. I don’t know how but I just managed to push on.”

Deirdre with the support of her team of helpers managed to reach the finishing line in Belfast in 36 hours - the cut off point for the event.

She thanked everyone who helped her complete the event.

“I couldn’t have done it without them,” she admitted.

However, Deirdre she said she wouldn’t do it again.

“I’ve still not taken it in,” she continued.

“It’s just unreal when I think of the distance and the effort involved.”

She has taken a few easy runs since Friday and plans to take it easy before planning her next outing.

Friends have been congratulating her on social media, one describing her as “Superwoman.”