Joe Paisley travelled to New York last year to run in the city’s famous marathon. In the process raised E2,500 for the Cuisle Centre. His acheivement is no small feat given his recent arrival to long distance running.
New York was his tenth marathon and, for a man who has only been running since 2005, Joe has packed a lot into the last few years.
A nightshift worker with An Post in Portlaoise, Joe began running as a means of keeping fit and ran his first 26 miles in the Dublin City Marathon, also in aid of the Cuisle Centre. He has acompleted marathons in Atlanta under scorching temperatures, and as well as Berlin and Paris. Joe had a great sense of pride during his Atlanta run
“It was a great experience, I was over there on my own but it was a great feeling to wear the Irish singlet”.
One experience that sticks out in Joe’s mind is a marathon he ran in the west of Ireland in aid of the Irish Council for the Blind. Each participant was paired up with a blind person. The run had a big impact.
“It really puts it in perspective being strapped to a blind person. He had great willpower and if they can do it I thought I definitely can,” he said.
Having played team sports in his earlier years, Joe says that running is not as solitary a pastime as people might think.
“There are a lot of people running and there is always someone to go with. The GAA lads would often do a few miles with you,” he says.
Joe tains a few times a week and often early on Sunday mornings in Stradbally, Emo and in the outskirts of Portlaoise.
Training is intense before marathons and Joe says discipline is key.
“Just coming up to the marathons you try to do the best you can with diet. I don’t want to get injured either, you just try and be careful. I’m lucky that I have had no serious injuries,” he says.
While work, training, travel and running should be enough to keep anyone busy, Joe still finds time to raise funds for charity. But the Portlaoise native is very humble about his fundraising efforts.
“Putting on a pair of runners is a small enough task. There are some great charities out there. I had a tour of the Cuisle Centre before and it is a fabulous place.,” he says.
He believes that completing the marathons would not be possible without the generosity of the local community.
“People are very good, they always give a few pounds,” he says.
Joe has plenty in th pipeline for 2011. He hopes to run in Edinburgh in May and London later on this year. Therre are plenty also of other races at home and abroad to fill up the calendar. He is looking forward to runs in Connemara and Paris, Cork in June and Dublin in October.
Although the task of running a marathon is daunting to some, Joe believes should not be afraid. He believes the key is to start slow.
“Start off at two miles and eventually build it up. And running with groups is always easier than alone. You make friends and get to know faces. I wouldn’t be good for travel but the marathons are a great way to see different places,” he says.