Beer Is The Secret To One Ultramarathoner’s Progress

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Feb. 8, 2012
  • Updated Feb. 8, 2012 at 11:35 AM UTC
A frosty beverage helped Irish runner Richard Donovan complete seven marathons on seven continents in less than five days. Photo: Herald Sun

Heineken, specifically.

Irishman Richard Donovan has run seven marathons on seven continents in five days.

So what’s his secret? Special shoes? A detailed training plan?

None of these, apparently. Donovan instead insists that the world’s most famous brewed beverage, beer, is what got him across the finish line.

The 45-year-old first took on the 26.2-mile distance in Antarctica last Wednesday. He then journey to Cape Town, South Africa; Sao Paulo, Brazil; Orlando, Florida; London; Hong Kong and then finally  finishing in Sydney. He was completing the feat for the humanitarian crisis in the Horn of Africa.

“I was absolutely wrecked,” Donovan recalled. “I wasn’t even able to keep down water. We came to desperate measures in Sydney and I chanced a beer. I had one bottle of Heineken during the race for some carbs and one at the end of it. It was the first time something stayed down in days.”

Donovan plans to take it really easy for the next few weeks.

For More: Herald Sun


Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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