Irish grandad who has run 35 marathons takes on fundraising challenge for cancer charity

Irish grandad who has run 35 marathons takes on fundraising challenge for cancer charity

AN Irish grandad who has run 35 marathons and more than 100 half marathons is about to complete his first charity challenge of 2024.

Michael McInerney, 83, has embarked on a January Parkrun Challenge, which has seen him run the 5km route in Scunthorpe each weekend since New Year’s Day.

Accompanied by his son Michael Jnr and grandchildren Amy and Conor, Mr McInerney, who hails from Loop Head in County Clare but has lived in Scunthorpe for 57 years, will complete his ambitious task this Saturday when he crosses the finish line on his fifth and final Parkrun this month.

Michael McInerney will complete his January Parkrun Challenge this weekend

Prior to the January challenge, Mr McInerney, who took up running 30 years ago, had completed no less than 286 Parkruns.

And throughout his running journey the devoted Irishman has tirelessly fundraised for charities that are close to his heart.

This month’s campaign has seen him focus on raising money for the Queen’s Centre at Castle Hill Hospital, in East Yorkshire.

Over the past two and a half years Mr McInerney has received care and treatment at the Centre after being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

“This is my personal thank you to the nursing staff and team at the Queen’s Centre at Castle Hill Hospital for the care they have provided me over the past two and a half years,” he told The Irish Post.

“I wouldn’t be here without their marvellous care,” Mr McInerney, who is a member of the Scunthorpe and District Running Club, added.

“Everyone has been fantastic with me. The funds I manage to raise through my jogging and walking I hope will help other patients like me at Castle Hill through the hospital’s WISHH Charity.”

Mr McInerney is supported by his son Michael Jr and grandchildren Amy and Conor who are joining him on his Parkrun Challenge

The avid fundraiser admits he has always loved the great outdoors, which he first indulged as a keen cyclist taking part in the cyclocross races, which saw him cycling through the British countryside.

But he didn’t take up running until he was in his mid-50s, when he took part in his first marathon in Boston, Lincolnshire.

Mr McInerney recalls that he “loved the course, and the wonderful surroundings”.

The following April he secured a place for the London Marathon, which cemented his love for running further, and he hasn’t stopped running since.

Three decades later, the impressive Irishman has completed 35 full marathons, over 100 half marathons and has taken part in more than 286 Parkruns.

Mr McInerney’s family are also keen runners, who have supported him throughout all the challenges he taken on,

Proud grandson, Conor McInerney joined his grandad in his January Parkruns.

“We are incredibly proud of my grandad,” he told The Irish Post.

“My dad has also completed the same number of Parkruns and my sister Amy and I will be walking and jogging alongside him throughout January to support him as he raises funds to support cancer patients at the Queen’s Centre, Castle Hill Hospital.”

He added: “He's certainly been an inspiration to all of us in the family and to so many in the local area.

“And he has always been a keen runner, so it's fantastic to have him running again after he's been through his treatment.”

Mr McInerney has set up a fundraising page to accompany his January challenge, which has already received donations of more than £1,000.

Michael McInerney is raising funds for for the Queen’s Centre at Castle Hill Hospital, in East Yorkshire

Lisa Whitton, WISHH Charity Manager, has praised Mr McInrney’s “fantastic” fundraising efforts, and the difference the cash he has raised will make to cancer patients.

“It has been a great privilege to team up with Michael and his family to help support him and raise awareness of his fantastic challenge,” she said.

“I will be working alongside Michael and the nursing team at the Queen’s Centre, to look at how the funds raised will help make a difference to patients receiving care.”

Mr McInerney’s final January Parkrun will take place this weekend on Saturday, January 27.

To support his fundraising campaign click here.