Seán Cooney is a man on a mission.
Today he will attempt to complete five marathons across different disciplines all in aid of Movember, the month long campaign which aims to raise awareness of Men’s health issues.
Cooney, from Carrickbeg in Co. Waterford, will undertake the gruelling challenge of completing 42km of running, followed by stints on the bike, rowing machine, skiing machine, and assault bike in Bodywork’s Carrick-on-Suir.
“About three years ago now I was living in Cyprus studying and myself and one of my mates from college done a thing for Movember.
“It wasn't anything to this calibre now at all, it was just something off the cuff that we done and raised a couple of hundred euro from,” Cooney tells Irish Runner.
After his local GAA club St. Molleran’s decided to do a twenty-four hour run for Pieta House during Covid, Cooney was inspired to do more charitable fundraising.
“Movember was coming up, it was (the challenge) something in the pipeline for a couple of months.
“Ireland isn't a big place and for so many people to take their own lives through suicide, I thought was a little bit frightening.
“The whole other aspect of it I suppose is cancer, it’s a big thing.
“Everyone is going to know someone that's been affected by cancer.
“I know people who have been affected by cancer, I know people suffering with cancer, the same with mental health, depression, and suicide.
“Luckily, I haven't been too deeply affected but I also kind of wanted to do something to maybe start to get people talking.”
Seán Cooney on why he took on five marathons challenge
Cooney is very clear as to why he took on such a massive undertaking for charity.
“I could have done the one marathon for four to five hours and that would have been that, but the harsh reality is anyone that is in a dark place at this time of their lives, whether it be someone they know or themselves personally, they don't get to cop out after four of five hours of suffering, it never ends,” he says.
“Everyone that has talked to me about it is saying 'are you mad, you won't be able to do it' but that's the point.
“It's mentally hard and hopefully if someone is suffering, they'll be able to see that I’m able to do this, maybe they can plough on for another day, they can do this, there is going to be that light at the end of the tunnel.
“Maybe just through me suffering for one whole day, through two hundred plus kilometres, it will just give someone that little bit of inspiration to keep going that one further bit.”
Cooney has received a lot of support from people and has raised a significant amount so far. One of his work colleagues was particularly encouraging to him.
“Lee is someone who's been there from day one with me.
“I work with him in Bodywork's here in Carrick and he was the person that when I put the idea forward there wasn't a single negative thing from him,” he adds.
“He was like, 'it's mad but you'll do it, you'll be well able'.
“Lee set me off on the runs, he came out, he was my pacemaker, he was just that person behind you that was constantly lie 'you can do it, you can do it, you can do it'.
“A few of the boys I train with and are mates with are going to come in and slog away on a few of the machines for an hour or when I'm tackling the challenge.”
Anyone wishing to donate to Seán Cooney can do so by clicking this link: https://ie.movember.com/mospace/14149448?utm_source=qrcode&utm_medium=mo_app&utm_campaign=movember&utm_content=app_share_mospace_qr