To run a marathon is quite an achievement but to complete one a full synthetic panther suit is well, something a bit special.
That's exactly what Michael Hopkins did on the Bank holiday Monday when he completed the 26 mile course in the suit of the club's mascot Paddy the Panther in a time of 5:43 and in the process raised over €800 for the schoolboy section of St Pat's.
For Michael it was quite an eventful day, “first of all my brother who had agreed to run with me and share the challenge got cold feet on the morning of the race pulled out – let's just say he owes me big time for that one.
The race started well but after I had run through the Phoenix Park around the 8k mark the sun came out and I really started to bake.
Then while I was running the race my fiancée was taken to hospital with labour pains.
Thankfully it was a false alarm otherwise I would have been hotfooting it to the maternity unity in a panther suit and God knows what they would have made of me.
Then after 19k I damaged my groin so the last few miles were total agony and I was so delighted to just make it over the finish line.
I got plenty of encouragement from Pat's fans along the way which kept me going – in Ballyfermot a group of fans in their jerseys were beating a drum and cheering me on which was great and another Saints fan came running out of a house at one stage to give me some water and rice krispie buns to keep me going”.
Well done and a big ‘thank you' from all at St Pat's to Michael for his tremendous efforts on behalf of the club.
Paddy the Panther, we understand will be taking a well deserved rest over the coming days but might be encouraged to do a celebratory lap of the pitch when the Saints take on Shamrock Rovers at Richmond Park on 6th November.
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