A man has privately admitted that his boasts of completing four exhausting marathons in as many weeks relate not to running 26-mile marathons, but in fact to lying on the couch watching entire series’ of television programmes in one sitting.
Paul McElhatton, a 28-year old banana ripener from Benburb, spent all day Monday recovering from what he called ‘one the most intense marathons he had ever endured’.
“You have to prepare for these things”, said McElhatton. “I did no training at all for my first one, and it was bad. Breaking Bad, all five seasons series of it. House of Cards wasn’t quite as tiring although it was quite difficult to follow, but a multipack of the Tayto gave me the strength to get through it. To be honest, it was actually my third marathon, Homeland, that I found most draining. Was yer man going to blow up lots of people or not? Was he going to get found out in time? It was a shattering experience. You try sitting on the edge of your seat for forty fecking hours. I had to phone in sick the next day. My arse was numb for a week”.
But his family are still under the illusion that young Paul’s marathon exploits relate not to television-watching but to pounding the streets in running shoes. His mother, 62-year old Bridie, said,
“We’re so proud of him. I know his third one took twelve hours which raised a few eyebrows, but then he is carrying plenty of beef on him, bless him. But he’s very modest about it. He’s got a tara amount of energy. I asked him if he had to lie down afterwards, and he said that was the last thing he wanted to do. I don’t know where he gets it from. I remember when he used to live at the homeplace, all he did was sit watching telly all day. Look at him now”.
McElhatton explained that all his hard work is paying off.
“It does get easier the more you do it”, he said. “By the fourth marathon it had all become a bit of a game. Of Thrones. Thon one set in the Titanic Quarter, but with dinosaurs and stuff. Over thirty hours, but I sailed through it”.
As of last night, McElhatton was preparing for his fifth marathon watching all 120 episodes of ‘Friends’ by learning all the words of ‘Smelly Cat’.
A Caledon man is being treated for what is believed to be post traumatic stress disorder, after venturing into his wife’s handbag to get a Polo mint.
59-year old Fergal Coughlan, a gas-lighter from Caledon, was travelling back from mass with his wife Nellie on Sunday morning when he asked her for a sweet, who instructed him to ‘go into the left hand bit’ of her handbag.
“Jaysus, it was tara boys”, said the distressed Coughlan. “One minute I was asking for a wee sweetie and the next minute it was like falling down thon wormhole in Alice in Wonderland. Remember Mary Poppins’ handbag? It was like that, except with more stuff in it. I’ve seen things that’ll stay with me til I go to the grave”.
Coughlan claims he found a pair of pliers, a half-eaten Marathon bar, a balaclava, a ticket stub for ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’, a verruca sock, an old photo of Kevin McCabe, some paper clips, and a packet of unused strawberry-flavoured condoms.
“I’m disgusted and affronted”, remarked Coughlan. “What on earth was she doing with a Marathon? She doesn’t even like chocolate. And it was covered with mould. It must have been there for years. The nuts nearly broke my teeth it was that bad”.
Coughlan also claims he found half a brick, a pair of castanets, three Betamax video recordings of Starsky and Hutch, a radiator bleed key, ten unused, ripped-up pairs of tickets for Gareth Gates, and a pound of mince.
Commenting on her husband’s traumatic episode, wife Kitty told us,
“He needs to grow a pair. A woman needs all sorts of bits and bobs. Be prepared, that’s my motto. And anyway, he went into the wrong bit. When I said ‘left hand bit’, I meant left hand bit at the front outside, not the inside at the back. The clift”.
“And after all that?” said the despondent husband. “No feckin’ polo mints”.
In what has been described as an unfortunate flashback of the Cavanagh/McManus incident highlighted on RTE by a manic Joe Brolly in August, an unlucky marathon runner from Clontibret was unceremoniously rugby tackled by a Moy spectator just five yards from the finishing line during the Dublin Marathon on Monday, preventing the runner from completing a personal best after his 9th attempt at breaking the four hour barrier.
Although police have refused to charge the Moy marauder, Bingo Hughes is adamant his assailant will pay for his moment of madness:
“I’ll get that boy in the long grass. Funnily enough I’d been thinking that this could happen throughout the whole run. Any time I saw a Tyrone jersey in the crowd I’d be cowering for fear he or she should leap at me without notice. But I didn’t think I’d be vulnerable after 25.9 miles and with a rake of stewards manning the final few yards.”
The tackler in question, Tam Jordan (55), admits the whole occasion got to him:
“To be honest I was just out doing a bit of window shopping looking for dungarees and stuff when I notice this marathon was on. So I watched a bit of it close to the finishing line and as soon as I saw this boy heading for the finishing tape with the Monaghan jersey on him I had this natural impulse to leap out of the crowd and drag the hoor down. I cannot explain it. Then I gave him a couple of digs in the ribs. Mad stuff altogether, like an out of body experience.”
Bingo has since contacted a Dungiven barrister who reportedly rubbed his hands and said something about his appearance fee in Tyrone talk nights doubling yet again.
Bingo Hughes’ official finishing time was 4 hrs and 1 second.