Meet the Irish woman who ran over 100 marathons this year to claim a place in the record books

The Cavan born runner claimed the record yesterday

BY Sinéad Farrell 15:45 Saturday 2 January 2016, 15:45 2 Jan 2016

A Cavan woman has just broken the European Women's record by running 106 marathons in just one year. 

Brenda O'Keeffe, a professional chef, took up running five years ago at the age of 32. And yesterday, she completed her mammoth marathon expedition when she crossed the finishing line at a race in England.

Throughout this year, she has accumulated a distance which exceeds 5,300 miles, but the Dublin Bay Running Club member admits, that she is still digesting the magnitude of her achievement.

“It still hasn’t hit me to be honest. I have a few blisters as it was raining towards the end of the race and my feet were soaking. Apart from that I’m grand. I was roughly doing about two races a week but in August I ran 20 marathons. That was my biggest month. I never felt like throwing in the towel. There were mornings all right, like when I did 10 marathons in five days, where your body is an absolute mess.

“You do think ‘How am I going to do this?’ but you never pull out. To this day I have never had to pull out of a marathon.”

And in the midst of all her record breaking antics, Brenda O'Keeffe managed to fit in a charity run over Christmas which saw her cover the distance from Dublin to Drumalee on December 23 as part of the Running Home For Christmas fundraising campaign. O'Keeffe completed the 120km in 16 hours and the money gathered will be donated to the Cavan Cystic Fibroris and Care For Cian charity organisations.

Getting tired yet? Well Brenda surely isn't and is even considering beating her record some time in the future.

“It’s just such an addiction. I’m already thinking about what I can do next weekend. The amount of support I have received all year has been absolutely incredible. The number of great people you meet when you’re running, you end up making friends for life.”


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