Shinty Highland hero helps hospice

Glenurquhart’s Connor Golabek is taking on the monumental challenge of running 7 marathons in 7 days. We caught up with him yesterday (Day 5) to see how he was finding it and what it was all for.

Q: What on earth has possessed you to do 7 marathons in 7 days?

A: I started volunteering with the Highland Hospice last year and with COVID, they have been unable to put on any fundraising events which they rely heavily on for funding. I was going to run the Loch Ness marathon, but obviously with everything that is going on I wasn’t sure it was going to go ahead. I wanted to do something to raise money and came across this incredible challenge. I did think about doing 1 marathon, but I wanted to do something that would push me to my limits and something that people may never have come across.

Q: Most people would consider completing one marathon an incredible achievement, as we speak to you now you have completed 5/7, let us know as best you can what it has been like?

A: Its been a gruelling five days so far, but now I am coming to the end of the challenge I am just trying to enjoy it as much as possible as I may not do anything like this again. Marathons 1 & 2 went as good as they possibly could have. I was running these solo, which was quite challenging, but managed to get through. The 3rd marathon has been the toughest as blisters and pains in my legs were causing issues. I actually phoned the Hospice telling them I don’t think I can do it after only 3 miles! Somehow, I found it in myself to complete the 3rd. I also had Stuart Mackintosh from our shinty team cycling alongside me giving me support which was a real boost. Marathon 4 was very tough going with the wind and rain. Michael Fraser who also plays for Glen joined me for the full marathon which was amazing. He has never actually run one before so to see him completing this gave me a huge boost. I have just finished marathon 5 and my body is the worst it has been, but having already experienced the pain from marathon 3, which made me want to quit and manging to get through it. I have been telling myself I have been in this position many times before and always found a way to get through. The last 2 will be tough, but I am on the home straight now so just going to try and enjoy the experience.

Q: We all know that feeling when the alarm goes off in the morning and you’ve got to get up for work, is it the same for you once you clock off knowing you have another 26 miles to do?

A: So, thankfully I have managed to get a week off work to focus on this challenge. It has been a real help not having the worry of work alongside trying to complete this challenge. Hearing the alarm going off in the morning has been tough knowing I have 26 miles to do, but I have been sleeping really well so once I am up I feel good to go again, although I don’t think my body is saying the same thing.

Q: Where do you find the motivation to push through the miles?

A: There has been many different battles I have faced while doing this challenge from blisters, pains in my body and my head telling me to stop. The response and support I have got from people has honestly been amazing and can’t thank them enough. When I am struggling I think back to all the messages I have received from people telling me how close the charity is to their hearts and  seeing the donations come in and how much these funds are going to benefit the Highland Hospice makes all the pain I’m going through for these 7 days’ worth it. There has been many times I have wanted to stop throughout the challenge, but there is always an extra 10% you can find within yourself to get through tough times if you truly want to get through it and believe in yourself. What a feeling it is once you get through that wall knowing that you never quit when your body and mind were telling you to.

Q: Do you think that this training will have you in peak condition for the 5th of June when the shinty season starts again?

A: I don’t think it will in all honesty, marathon running and cardio in shinty are completely different. My training has been more running long distance at a speed I feel comfortable with. There have been very little sprints involved so I am sure I will still find it tough going when I am back to training. It may help me later on in games though so, will see how I get on when we are back playing. I do think I have a good reason to give pre season training a miss this year though!

Q: Finally,  with the shinty season around the corner and the leagues just announced today, how do you fancy Glen’s chances in Mowi Senior League A?

A: Yeah I think the teams are all well matched and expect to see a lot of close games. In terms of expectations I don’t really have any to be honest, its been over a since the teams have played so I am not too sure how they are looking. It will just be nice to be back playing though so looking forward to getting back.

If you can afford to, please consider donating to this worthy cause by clicking here.