Garda and Fireman Chase Charity Dream

By: Yvonne O’Loughlin

Two Dublin men are taking on the challenge of running 12 marathons in two years with little or no previous experience. 

Peter Murtagh, a garda, and his good friend Geoff Tracey, a fireman with Dublin Fire Brigade are running the marathons in an attempt to raise money for charity.

Murtagh, who came up with the idea originally, is fundraising for the Irish Cancer Society. The money he raises will go towards a new centre to be opened in Tallaght hospital which will be providing cancer patients and their families with support and information.

Tracey is running for The Friends of the Coombe but in particular the Special Care Baby Unit in the hospital.

Geoff Tracey and Peter Murtagh

It seemed that their aspiration to take part in such a physical form of fundraising may have been ambitious given the fact that Peter had never completed a marathon before and Geoff had only competed in one.

However, their determination and dedication to their cause appears to have paid off, and a gruelling training regime and many late nights have the runners in prime condition for the coming months.

The men started their challenge in August by completing the Galway City Marathon in four hours twenty two minutes.

Their next day out was to Dun Laoghaire to a route they had mapped out themselves. They were accompanied on this particular occasion by well wishers who provided them with refreshments and encouragement along the way.

Their next challenge is a more unusual take on the idea of a marathon. The men will be running on treadmills on Sunday November 21st in the middle of level two of Tallaght shopping centre.

They will be running for five hours to achieve their goal and Geoff’s colleagues from the fire brigade will be there to support him and collect for the charities.

They will continue their efforts over the coming months until finally finishing in July 2011 with a 26.2 mile run around Tallaght and its environs.  

People can support the men and their charities by checking out their facebook page “twelve-by-two” or by logging on to and searching for their names.


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