Lifelong pals set for London marathon challenge

April 18, 2016

Camlough men and lifelong friends, Pat McGinn and Larry McCabe, are set to take their lasting friendship to a whole new level this weekend when they jointly participate in the London marathon on Sunday 24th April.

The pair will undertake the grueling 26.2mile challenge through the streets of the city they first visited when they left home to work there more than forty years ago.  Indeed, Pat points out that the route will take them past what was their local pub at the time and where a photo of them adorned the wall with the caption ‘The Booze Brothers’.

“We might pop in to say hello whilst running past, but we definite won’t be stopping for long,” he joked.

On a more serious note, both Pat and Larry take this opportunity to thank everyone who has made donations to their fundraising efforts in aid of Southern Area Hospice Services.

“Larry and myself deeply appreciate the generosity of all those who sponsored us and donated at our various collection events. The recent collection in Camlough village was a grand total of £1,,230.34. Thanks to all those who have helped in our collections and trained with us.”

Having received a cancer diagnosis and subsequent successful treatment almost three years ago, Pat praised the work of the Southern Area Hospice and said: “The Hospice services have been availed of by many.  We will be remembering in particular Larry’s late father Dermot and all our family members and friends who lost their lives to cancer. It is also important to be positive and encourage those facing the uncertainties that cancer brings with it to be strong and resolute. You are not alone.”

Pat and Larry will be cheered along the route by their many supporters including Pat’s son, Conor, a Westminster MP whose PA is also running the marathon for charity.

Comparing Conor’s circumstances of living and working across the Irish Sea to that experienced by himself and Larry during the 1970s, Pat added: “It was a daunting enough experience for two naive young lads, but myself and Larry are survivors.  Times have changed somewhat for the new generation of Irish now living and working there, mostly for the good.  My son Conor is an MP in Westminster representing his constituency of St Helen’s North. Changed times indeed.  Conor has a great passion and care for his constituents and job. He is also deeply involved with the Irish in Britain and the issues they face. We as a family and his friends are proud of him and what he has achieved as a young Irishman who has gone to make his home and his life elsewhere.”

As they undertake the final preparations ahead of Sunday’s marathon, Pat revealed he and Larry have planned a number of other initiatives to continue their fundraising for the Hospice, including the Great North Run in September.