Irishman who once had heart attack runs 19 miles to London pub for pint of Guinness on Boxing Day
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Irishman who once had heart attack runs 19 miles to London pub for pint of Guinness on Boxing Day

AN IRISHMAN who recovered from a life-threatening heart attack marked Boxing Day in lockdown by running over 19 miles to a London pub offering takeaway pints of Guinness. 

Geoffrey Donohue's appreciation for a freshly-poured pint of the black stuff saw him embark on an epic jaunt to sample what he reckons is the "best Guinness in London."

Given some of the stout horror shows many Irish have suffered through during their time in the English capital, few could blame him for making the pilgrimage. 

It marks the latest chapter in a remarkable turnaround for Donohue, 42, who suffered a shock heart attack just a month prior to his 38th birthday back in 2016. 

Donohue was competing in the Birmingham Half Marathon when he began to experience severe chest pains.  

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Incredibly, he was still able to finish the race before being rushed to hospital. 

Once there, Donohue was told he would require two cardiac stents. 

Speaking to Tooting Nub News, he describes the experience as “the scariest moment” of his life. 

"I was burning the candle at both ends and being very naive with my training," he said. 

"I wasn’t thinking about the junk I was eating and thought that whatever I ate I could just burn off the next day. 

"I was also a social smoker and I still do love a pint, all of these things contributed to my clogged arteries."

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He credits Valarie Nangale, a cardiac nurse with helping him not only regain his health but also his ability to run again. 

Valarie works with Irish in Britain and Green Hearts, two organisations set up to raise awareness and prevention of cardiac disease and hypertension within the Irish diaspora in the UK. 

The coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdowns has prevented Donohue from enjoying many of the English capital’s obvious delights, but he was still able to find a way to enjoy a great pint of Guinness over the festive period.

"The Guinness in The Ramble Inn is the best in London," Donohoe explained. 

"Coronavirus has meant that I haven’t been able to go and see the friends I've made there and drink that tasty Guinness. 

"That’s why I jumped at the opportunity to do both on Boxing Day."

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Incredibly, Donohue managed to complete the epic 19.77-mile run in just over two hours. 

That Guinness must have tasted incredible. Here’s to many more pints to come in 2021 and beyond. 

You can check out Donohue’s interview with Tooting Nub News here.