‘A mid life crisis’ - that’s how Portrush shop keeper Marino McGowan is describing his latest fundraising challenge.
Marino, who owns the Main Street Nisa, will be joined by local butcher and marathon enthusiast Eamon Etherson, for a huge challenge in March.
The pair will take part in the ‘Ocean Floor Race’ - that’s 160 miles over four days in the Egyptian Western Desert.
Two local schools will benefit from their challenge.
Father of two, Marino takes up the story: “We have done mad things like this before, and we always fundraiser for local schools.
“This time around it’s for St Patrick’s Primary School and Portrush Community Playgroup.
“My two children, Mila and Luca and Eamon’s son Che are all pupils at St Patrick’s, and they attended the playschool before that.”
After Eamon spotted an advertisement for the Ultra marathon online, the pair got into training, they have been running around 40 miles a week, and walking around 20 miles every weekend.
“Training is going well. We’re using the wet, cold and windy North Coast weather to acclimatize, “ joked Marino.
“We’ve both done marathons before, I did my first one when I was forty, so I guess you could say we’re going through a mid life crisis.”
With a time limit of four days on the event, competitors will navigate with GPS devices through the Egyptian Western desert, specifically the Egyptian White Desert to check-points every 15 miles.
At these tented checkpoints entrants will have access to water, food and their pre-filled drop bags.
Organisers describe the event as ‘magical’ - encompassing the true meaning of adventure.
If you would like to sponsor the local pair, visit their Main Street shops. Alternatively collection tins are in place at both local schools.