A LOUGHMACRORY man will run five miles every day through the month of October to raise money for three charities close to his heart.
Normally a keen distance-runner, various lockdown and a lack of local races had dampened Dermot Moxon's enthusiasm for the hobby somewhat.
Needing a challenge to get his love back for running, and realising just how much local charities are struggling in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, Dermot has decided to run a total of 155 miles next month.
Any money raised will be split between Termonmaguirc Cancer Patients Comfort Fund, Termonmaguirc Friendly Care Group and the local branch of Saint Vincent de Paul.
"The money raised will go towards helping people I know in the community," said Dermot.
"In regards to St Vincent de Paul, it's a charity that I have used in the past myself, so it will be great to be able to give something back.
"During lockdowns, I lost a lot of motivation and I had my own problems with mental health. This challenge will help me to refocus my mind.
"Keeping active has always helped with my mind, especially the running, as it really clears my head. If I've set myself the challenge of running five miles every day, I have no other choice but to get out!"
Dermot has been a familiar face on the local running scene since he took up the sport back in 2017. His enthusiasm has always been infectious and everyone within the running community has been inspired by the improvement the Loughmacrory made in such a short space of time.
At one stage, friends called him the 'PB (personal best) King' as he was regularly beating his own records.
"Running allowed me to meet so many more new people and gave me a new purpose in life," continued Dermot.
"Before 2017, I couldn't have run out of your road!" he laughed.
"I started taking it seriously when I got involved with a couch to five-mile programme in preparation for the Lough 5 run on New Year's Eve.
"I got into the habit of it, so I joined Carmen Runners and joined in with the weekly training. Michael Kerr, Michael Curran and Paula Donaghy really helped me get started and I soon got my 5k down from 28 minutes to 22.12. My first 10k was 56 minutes and now my PB is under 46 minutes.
"I'll always remember my first 10k - it was in Carrickmore and it was a freezing, snow day in March with hail and all sorts! I was wearing a vest as well, which was madness.
"It happened very quickly as I was training so much, it was a lot of hard work and dedication.
"People in the running community gave me so much support, and I ended up doing Belfast Marathon in 2019.
"Unfortunately after the lockdown of March 2020, my motivation began to wane a bit."
Dermot tried to keep ticking along but the motivation was hard to come by.
"I ended up getting injured for eight weeks which didn't help," he continued.
"It has now been almost a year since I was doing any serious running."
Dermot is hoping to raise as much as possible for the three charities - "anything at all will help them," he said.
Dermot encourages anyone who would like to run a five-mile route with him to get in touch by calling him on 07425305850.
"There will be no great pace involved; it will be enjoyable."
To donate to these worthy charities, visit www.gofundme.com/f/5-mile-a-day-in-oct-