Niall working with Michelle McDonnell near her home in Sligo.

VIDEO! Bressie asks people of Mullingar to support Marathon Mind event

Sarah Slevin

Niall Breslin has asked people to come out in force to support one of the country’s biggest marathon events this year, in Mullingar on Saturday next, November 13.

For the last nine months, Bressie, along with 800 others across the country and many more around the world have been training for the 26.2-mile Mind Marathon.

“There’s people all over the world doing it virtually. And a lot of people are travelling to Mullingar from overseas to do it. It’s quite a buzz for me to see it,” Niall said.

Niall told the Westmeath Examiner that he and the organising team hope people come out and support those taking part.

“It’s really important that we get people out to cheer on the runners. It’s one hell of a support when they do,” Niall said.

“It’s going to need support, and people. When you do a marathon, you get an extra 20 or 30 percent of energy when there are people around and cheering you,” Niall said.

Marathon Mind will start at Columb Barracks and Niall talked about how it should be a great boost to a town that had the “fleadh taken from them for two years”.

“We want there to be a buzz, we want businesses to do well and that was at the forefront of our thoughts of doing this too. Let’s see if we can show off Mullingar, because I think it looks great,” Niall added.

Niall came up with the idea for the marathon in January, a time he described as the “grimmest” period for us all during the lockdown after Christmas.

“I needed to focus, and I thought if I’m going to do something like this, then I could also help other people do it. The idea was to train for a marathon and help other people train for it too,” Niall said.

“I knew the one thing they couldn’t close was the roads, it wasn’t even about the marathon, it was more about the focus of it,” Niall said.

He initially decided to reach out to find four people who had gone through a tough time recently and help them train for the marathon, but it has now become much bigger than that.

“That was the starting point. Now we have nearly 800 people going to run the marathon in Mullingar, which is the third biggest outside of Dublin and Cork,” Niall said.

Those four individuals are Phelim Gallagher, from Galway, Michelle McDonnell from Sligo, and Daniel Leahy and Marion Russell, who are both from Cork.

Since January, Niall has been helping them train with a team of coaches including Olympian Rob Heffernan as well as sports coaches and psychologists.

“A marathon is a huge task to take on, you can’t just decide last minute to do one. People have committed to it for nine months,” Niall said.

Niall has had a busy year, with working on his podcast, organising his upcoming live shows for that podcast, as well as re-releasing a single with The Blizzards to raise money for Hero’s Aid.

When we asked Niall how he managed to juggle everything as well as training for a marathon, he said getting out running is “therapy” for him.

“It’s my space in the day. I’m really comfortable going out running with no headphones. I can go out for three hours and don’t get bored or impatient, I get very relaxed,” Niall said.

“When I was out running n Mullingar last winter, out by the lakes, it was just incredible. For me, it’s a great way to get away from the world.” .

Niall, the four individuals and the 800 others taking part will be at the starting line in Columb Barracks on 13 November at 9am and you can find details on their route on