Sean O’Hara has just completed his 23rd consecutive run as part of the Gold Coast Marathon event.
Sean O’Hara has just completed his 23rd consecutive run as part of the Gold Coast Marathon event.

Man, 78, completes 23rd consecutive run in big event

AT 78 YEARS of age, Sean O'Hara has no trouble running for a bus - he's just completed his 23rd consecutive run in the Gold Coast Marathon event, despite blistered feet.

"I love getting out in the fresh air," he admitted.

"And I like to encourage young people to do the same.

"They spend too much time on those electronic games and don't get enough exercise."

Sean moved from Melbourne to Runaway Bay (apt destination!) in the early '90s and for 15 years from 1993 entered the 10km run which has since become the 7.5km.

Then in 2008 he had a crack at the half-marathon of 21km and has run in both events ever since.

One thing leads to another, as they say. Sean decided to have a go at the World Masters Games in 2001, as they were being held in his old hometown of Melbourne.

This inspired him to make his first overseas trip four years later to compete in Edmonton Canada.

Since the 2009 World Masters were being held in Sydney (just down the road, he said) he entered there and then in 2013 went off to Torino in Italy to have a go.

"I was the only English speaker there and it wasn't until after the event I found I'd been competing against former Olympic athletes. That was a bit of a boost.

"I enjoy the exercise and above all, meeting with like-minded people, not only seniors but younger people. That keeps me young and still very active."

By the time you read this, Sean will be back home from a wonderful trip to Germany and Austria.

When he heard Vienna was not all that far from Budapest, he quickly organised a special day trip to that exotic destination.

"I tell people that Buda in on one side of the river and Pest is on the other, and I'll be the pest in the middle," he laughed.

There are no marathons in his busy European itinerary, but some of those alps are bound to feel the thump of his busy feet running up and down them.

He just can't help himself.


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