Thanks to Tony Mangan for the story.
Eoin Keith not only finished a magnificent 5th but smashed the Irish road record at the World 24-Hour Championships, held over a 1.14km circuit in Bergamo, Italy.
Keith covered a total of 237.206km (147.393 miles) for the 24 hours, adding over five miles to the record set by Tony Mangan in 2006. Last autumn, Keith set a new Irish track record for 24 hours of 235.910km (146 miles 1034 yards) again breaking a record set by Mangan.
On this occasion, Mangan acted as Keith’s ‘handler’. “Tony got me through. At 16 hours, I knew I had broken the 100-mile Irish record, but half an hour later, I had a big energy crisis and I walked into the tent. Tony got advice from the Americans and fed me watered down isotonic drinks. He got me back out there.”
Soon Keith, who had paced himself carefully on a warm day, was passing runners who had made less cautious starts. “I couldn’t get excited — I was aware of the record and all I was interested in was the distance I had covered. But towards the end when I was catching people, it was my improving position that kept me going.”
Keith’s fifth place is a best ever by an Irish athlete. It was his third ultra run in five weeks.
“I ran the European 100k in Galway, then the Wicklow Way 44k. I’m recovering a lot better — I felt as good going into this race as I did for the first one.”