A Louth grandmother who completed her 900th marathon at the weekend has revealed she just loves a glass of red wine and a bowl of chips after the gruelling events.
Mother of five Collette O’Hagan is now gearing up to complete her 1,000th event, hopefully in Dublin next year, but she will continue to shun the superfood diet for a simple menu that has been working for her since her first marathon in 1990
The 73 year old from Dundalk said she has a glass of red wine the night before a marathon and another afterwards, accompanied by a bowl of vinegar-soaked chips.
Collette has 10 grandchildren and has fostered 80 children over the years, alongside her husband Larry.
Collette O’Hagan. Photo: Supplied by Louise Walsh
“I started running before superfoods and protein was a thing,” she said. “We were lucky to get a half of a Mars bar into us along the route.
“I’m not a big eater. I do eat chocolate and I eat healthy but the protein bars and shakes don’t work for me. They work for others but just not for me.
“My friends know that I just love one glass of wine after a marathon and if I get a bowl of chips, that’s even better. My friends would laugh and say don’t give the vinegar to Collette for the chips because you’ll never get it back. I just love vinegar on chips with maybe a little bit of salt or mayonnaise.
“I’ll have a small glass of red wine as well the night before a marathon. I may not have another glass for days after but it’s just something I love to have to mark the occasion,” she said.
Collette ran her 899th marathon on Saturday night at Baronscourt Estate in Omagh, followed by her 900th the next day.
“When I finished my 800th, I set my sights to reach the 1,000th, which I’d like to complete in my 75th year next year in Dublin, where I ran my first ever marathon.”
She reckons she has notched up another 100 virtual marathons but does not count these are they cannot be verified.
Photo: Supplied by Louise Walsh
“I only count the ones that can be recorded and verified officially. I’ve probably completed 100 virtual events, but I don’t count these.
“Even though my Garmin watch might have recorded the distance, who is to say that I didn’t give my watch to someone else to run for me. I prefer to only count the official ones.
“I put a lot of work into the marathons. I don’t drive, so I have to get lifts or buses or wait ages for trains or rely on lifts from family and friends.
“I’ve even ran half-marathons and 10k events wearing a boot or on crutches after I smashed my metatarsal in my food. There’s no stopping me.
“But I get a lot back from running. I’ve made fantastic friends along the way and have a great camaraderie with them and it all keeps me focused. And now I’m focused on the big one, which please God I’ll be celebrating finishing with a glass of red wine in 2024,” she added.