Watch ’126′ On Setanta Sports

Finally! We’re so happy to tell you that the documentary made about our Challenge 126 journey titled ’126′ will be broadcast on Monday 13th August at 9.15pm on Setanta Sports Ireland. We hope you watch it with us on the night!

In the mean time here’s a sneak peek at ’126′:

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Challenge 126 In Numbers!

Did you know that during Challenge 126 Brian and Mike lost 44.4 litres of sweat? No! Well read on to discover even more weird and wonderful stats about Challenge 126!

1 – The single bowl of Frosties that Mike ate for breakfast before running from Limerick to Dublin on Challenge 126.

2 – Challenge 126 crew members that reported hallucinations due to tiredness.

6 – The counties Brian and Mike ran through – Limerick, Tipperary, Offaly, Laois, Kildare and Dublin on Challenge 126.

Even More Challenge 126 Stats:

15 – The number of stops needed to burst blisters.

37 – The hours that Brian and Mike ran for. They started their journey in Limerick at 7.50am on Thursday 26thApril & they finally reached Dublin city at 9.45pm on Friday 27th April.

40- Fig Rolls consumed during Challenge 126.

44.4 – Litres of sweat lost by Brian and Mike during Challenge 126.

45 – Hours that the Challenge 126 crew had no sleep.

100 – Hours of interview footage taken by Techno Wolfe Films.

1,000 – New followers on Twitter in one day.

€25,000 – Raised so far for Special Olympics Ireland

28,000 – Calories burnt by Brian and Mike during Challenge 126

275,000 – Steps taken by Brian and Mike during Challenge 126!

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Beware Of The Chair!

During their epic journey Brian and Mike could always rely on Ash ‘Beware Of The Chair’ Senyk.  Ash is an Aussie legend and was an amazing support to the guys.  In his blog Ash recalls the first leg of ‘Challenge 126′……… via http://borntorunash.com/

The guys asked me to come along to help out because I had been a good source of running experience, but my ultra running is fairly modest – having only run a few ultras but done about 40 marathons. The task was massive, simply run non-stop from Limerick to Dublin and cover the estimate 126 miles over more than 24 hours. In principal the idea was fairly simple, “you guys are like diesel cars – just keep putting fuel in the tank and do some basic maintenance – and you’ll make the distance.”

What I didn’t realize was that Mike and Brian and the crew would be turning to me every step of the way for advice and solutions. Don’t misunderstand my tone, because I loved every minute of the Challenge, but was pushed to exhaustion myself.

Furthermore, there was a film crew capturing every minute, every footstep of the challenge which meant I spent a good deal of time in front of the camera (which I am a bit camera shy).

Prelude to Challenge 126:

Its easy to forget about the miles these guys had put in befor the run. Early 6am training runs, followed by evening runs in the the darkest, coldest and meanest months of the year. When I was still in bed on those mornings  Mike and Brian were out running.

They also did some Vo2 testing in the DCU lab for a physiological check before the run. While their ‘rock-star’ lifestyles still kicked on in the background with late nights out and film premiers, the lads were dedicated to running and in March did a 54 mile run. I was really happy to hear they successfully made the distance and got a chance to go beyond the 20 mile runs in their normal training. But remember that 54 miles is not even half the distance !!!

As the date fast approached, the guys had started honing in on their gear list and plans as they were laid out. I kept bugging them about the logistics and the plans and it felt like nobody really knew. I was direct to talk with Caroline Foran from entertainment.ie. and my questions were answered.  The guys both had a good planners by their side, Caroline Foran and Caroline Smith. There was also the Special Olympics foundation people who offered ‘hard’ support in terms of accommodation, fuel, food etc etc. We had the filmcrew, including the sound guys as well who contributed to the whole plan. It sounds a bit like planning a launch to the moon; Checklist: Lunchbox packed, spare socks, jacket, batteries for lights, toilet paper etc etc….

So the adventure was ready to start, and the launch party was over so it was time to get on the road.

The Drive to Limerick:

Driving to Limerick from Dublin was extraordinary. I remember thinking while I looked at the road that every single mile driven was going to be slowly returned on the run back to Dublin. The toughest thing was heavy rain and hailstones combined with a  5-10 degrees C temperature. It was really daunting and I could sense the nerves from Mike who had run in similar condition to this and resulted in injury from swelling feet. (See Lapland Ultra Marathon Blog)

The Night before, Breakfast and the Start Of Challenge 126:

Arriving at our hotel in Limerick gave me a chance to learn a bit more about their mental preparation and expectations. Most ‘coaches’ would have done this prior to a mammoth run, but I had been fairly confident they had sorted out their plan while training.

That night chat around the dinner table was fairly light, with the usual jokes and pre-nerves. I kept looking at the weather conditions at met.ie because the rainfall was my biggest concern at this point.

We drove to the start – which was in front of a department store in the middle of Limerick city. The streets were fairly quiet and not many people around, but that soon changed with a good crowd forming fairly quickly.  There had been pretty good coverage in the media about the run, especially on the radio through the station Spin 1038 – where Brian works, and through entertainment.ie.

It was overcast and cloudy that morning, with rain still lingering from the previous day but a bit clearer. I had predicted a change in the weather. Its typical after a good strong weather system of rain you get this broken-up patches of rain and wind. I much preferred this over the previous days constant heavy rain. The lads left with a good pace joined by a couple of runners leading them out of the city of Limerick. The going was fairly slow and the police escorted the way. It was only after about 45 minutes the guys had to stop on the roadside for the first pee. It was the first sign of nerves and anxiety as usually happens before a marathon. I was trying to keep the guys fueled up and eating along the way. I also kept a close eye on the pace – and they commented to others ‘Ash is going to kill us if we keep changing the pace’. It was the first sign that some of the things I had said were settling in.

On the outskirts of Limerick the road turns toward the motorway, when we took a small exit straight onto the R445. It was the original road from Limerick towards Dublin through the back of Claire. The ideal road for lots of miles ahead. With a bit of drizzle and rain the guys were feeling pretty good and the miles ticked away. 10 miles, 20 miles and then the first marathon (26) came up in 4 hours and 30 something minutes. We were in the middle of nowhere at that point. The pace was a bit quick for my liking, and they had already fallen a bit short on the nutritional strategy of 1 litre min per hour and one descent meal per hour. Both Mike and Brian felt bloated and weren’t hungry, a typical feeling when you are taking too many sweets.

*** End of Part 1: More to come ****

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Dean Karnazes – Ultra Marathon Man!

For those of you don’t who know him, Dean Karnazes is a legend! He’s been described as “the world’s most famous ultramarathon runner”. In 2006, he ran 50 marathons in 50 days in 50 US States. So if anyone knows what Mike and Brian went through with Challenge 126, it’s Dean! We caught up with him recently where he had this message for the boys.

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We’re Now On Posterous – Listen Here!

A lot of people have been asking us for the audio of all the radio interviews we did before, during and after Challenge 126. So the easiest thing to do was to create a posterous account so everyone can listen to them in one place! Enjoy!

http://challenge126.posterous.com/

 

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CHALLENGE 126 THE MOVIE?

Since the start of this year, we’ve been documenting our journey with Brian, Eamon and the amazing team from TechnoWolfe Films. We’re really excited to share our Challenge 126 journey with you – The highs, the lows and everything in between! The documentary ’126′ will be broadcast on Setanta Sports later this year. As soon as we know the transmission date, we’ll let you know! In the meantime, check out some of the promo’s here:

 

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The Finish Line!

In total the boys ran 133 miles in 39 hours, to say they were happy to reach the finish line in Grafton Street is an understatement. They were over whelmed by the reception and kindness they received from friends and strangers alike along the road from Limerick to Dublin. You can still donate right here at www.challenge126.com THANK YOU!

 

Thanks @podgemckenna and @SOIreland for the vid’s!

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The Last 26 Miles…..

On Friday morning, Brian and Mike were physically drained. The lack of sleep and overnight illness had slowed down their pace but they kept going. They continued on the R445 en route to Kildare town where they were joined by new Twitter friends – Robbie and Ashling who gave them a moral boost. They ran on through The Curragh, Newbridge and Naas. Mike’s knee was gone at this stage so we ended up taking a detour to Clane Hospital so he could get treated. In Clane they were joined by some of their friends even CEO Of Special Olympics Ireland Matt English started running with them! In Cellbridge, they met Eamon who ran with them to the finish line. Brian even took a call from running ledge Gerry Duffy! The nearer to Dublin they got, the more friends and colleagues appeared by their side to run with them to Grafton St. This was definitely needed as the boys were feeling the effects both physically and mentally of having run over 120 miles in 24 hours. The last 10 miles from Lucan village into Grafton St seemed like an eternity! However, the boys were spurred on by new friends who joined them along the last 5 miles from the Strawberry Beds. Shortly before 10pm on Friday night (10 hours behind schedule) Brian and Mike crossed the finish line to rapturous applause. Having watched them run from Limerick to Dublin we are beyond proud of them – They achieved their goal, they completed ‘Challenge 126′ and most importantly raised awareness and funds for Special Olympics Ireland.

Well Done boys – The Challenge 126 Team!

P.S Thanks Michael Rossney for the photos!

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The Overnight Drama!

The boys set off from Borris at around 8pm on Thursday night, at that stage they were 52 miles into their ‘Challenge 126′. They ran through Castletown, Mountrath and Portlaoise with no issues. In Portlaoise they were joined by a new friend from Twitter Darren from Galway who drove down to run with them. However as the temperatures dropped from about 11pm the boy’s encountered problems. Brian had to stop running as he was feeling dizzy and ill. Thankfully crew members Ash and Eoin identified what was wrong with him – Hypothermia! Hypothermia is defined as any body temperature below 35.0 °C. Brian’s temperature was somewhere between 30–32 °C. Brian had to lie down in the car for 30 mins with the heating turned up full blast and wrapped in 10 layers to try and warm up his core temperature. It somehow worked and the run continued. Mike then started to feel ill so there was another stoppage. By this time the run had been delayed by over 3 hours and they still hadn’t reached New Inn. As the sun rose, they ran into Monastervin, Kildare and had to have another injury break as Mike’s knee was getting progressively worse.

http://twitvid.com/S4GUJ

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13 Hours In…..

Mike and Brian are now 13 hours into their ‘Chalenge 126′. They left Limerick just before 8am this morning and started running to Dublin – 126 Miles away! They’ve been running on the old Dublin Road R445 non stop passing through Birdhill, Nenagh, Toomevara, Moneygall, Roscrea and Borris In Ossory.  The weather was against them all day but they’re still in good spirits! A big thank you to everyone who’s supported us so far along the route, Clarion Hotel Limerick, Mr.Friend and his pupils from Toomevara N.S, Majella at Ollie Hayes pub, Moneygall, The Heritage Hotel, Portlaoise and all the Traffic Corps. Mike and Brian really appreciate it and they are very grateful for all the donations so far for ‘Challenge 126′ and Special Olympics! If you haven’t donated yet you can still donate to the right hand side or Text ‘DONATE’ to 57252.  The latest update is that the boys have run 60 miles and left Borris In Ossory, Laois  at 8pm tonight and are running towards Mountrath and Portlaoise! Amazing!

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