Beer is key to ultra runner’s success

How did one man run seven marathons on seven continents in less than five days? With a little help from beer.

How did Irish ultra runner Richard Donovan run seven marathons on seven continents in less than five days? With a little help from a bottle of beer.

Donovan was on a mission to raise money for the humanitarian crisis in the Horn of Africa earlier this month, according to an article in the Herald Sun.

Donovan, 45, ran the first 42K in Antarctica, followed by Cape Town, South Africa; Sao Paulo, Brazil; Orlando, Florida; London; Hong Kong; and Sydney. He actually took four days, 22 hours and three minutes to run the total of 295K.

But on the last day of the journey, Donovan admitted that sleep deprivation, running and travelling had taken a toll on his body. He couldn’t even take in water by the end.

In Sydney, he decided to take a chance on a bottle of Heineken – and it gave him the spurt of energy he needed to finish.

“We came to desperate measures in Sydney and I chanced a beer,” he told a news agency. “I had one bottle of Heineken during the race for some carbs and one at the end of it. It was the first time something stayed down in days.”

Donovan completed his races paying money out of his own pocket, instead raising money through his World Marathon Challenge website, with proceeds going to the Irish aid agency Goal.