Life & Business Lessons From An Ultramarathon Record Holder

Many of us face challenges every day in our private and working lives, some trivial and some life changing. Some lessons are tough to take, but without exception they bring with them big opportunities if we’re willing to take them on.

That’s what entrepreneur, marathon runner and friend of mine, Stevey McGeown did on 1st June this year when he took on the challenge of completing 60 consecutive 39.3 mile ultramarathons in 60 days for children with Autism.

In doing so he managed not only to raise funds for charity and break several world records, but he also demonstrated what ordinary people can do if we just put our minds to it.

People in business like you and me often shy away from taking on what we perceive as a big risk for fear of some negative outcome, or that we might look incompetent amongst our peers.

However, taking on those big ideas and the associated challenges is exactly what we should do.

If we can take inspiration from great achievements like Stevey’s, accept that the big idea when it comes was actually meant for us, and go for it with abandon then we can achieve big results just like he did.

Make a Donation To The Fundraising Effort

60 Ultras In 60 Days

Stevey wasn’t always a marathon runner, he only started running a few years ago. In fact it might seem strange but even now he still doesn’t classify himself as a runner. But regardless, he set himself an enormous challenge and he achieved it.

He set off from his home on June 1st 2016 to complete a feat of endurance many would regard as impossible. His goal was to run 60 consecutive ultra marathons of 39.3 miles each, around a course that was to take him around and through almost every county in Ireland.

Stevey started out from his home city of Armagh on 1st June 2016, headed east to Newry, then north to Belfast and across the northern coast of Ireland through Derry and Donegal. The preplanned route then brought the intrepid ultramarathon runner through the west of Ireland counties of Sligo, Mayo, Galway and Roscommon and onwards to Munster, through County Clare, Limerick and Cork.

The route then took McGeown weaving through the midlands several times and into Leinster for the final time for a date in The Phoenix Park in Dublin, before heading north and homeward bound for the finish on Saturday the 30th of July at The Mall in Co. Armagh.


Success Despite The Challenges

The goal was to raise funds for children with Autism and he hooked up with a number of children’s charities including The Keith Duffy Foundation, Buddy Bench Ireland and the Paddy Wallace Fund for Autism.

Support was there from the guys at Born 2 Run and various supporters, friends and family but it was far from an easy road.

The heat in the early weeks of the challenge was intense and Stevey suffered severe heat stroke and dehydration. He couldn’t eat, he couldn’t drink and he couldn’t sleep for days.

All was not well and some believed he would have to retire from the challenge. Somehow he recovered from the bout of heat stroke but only for a short time before picking up several injuries.

If the physical challenges were not enough, Stevey also suffered the loss of his grandmother whom he had been very close to. Those first couple of weeks were almost unbearable but he managed to keep things together and got through it.

On the final day, 30th July, Stevey was joined by hundreds of runners, family and friends to celebrate victory in his home city of Armagh.

Life & Business Lessons For Us All

The high stools in bars across the country are filled with people who talk about what they could have done. They lament the fact they never had the opportunity that other more successful people did.

They claim they were born to the wrong parents, their mother never gave them the encouragement they needed, they were poor, someone else was always favoured over them, or they had no luck…

The excuse box is full to the brim.

Most of us have an excuse ready to go as to why we didn’t do, or we’re not currently doing what’s in our heart. We like to believe that abilities are awared before we get here and people like Stevey have something we don’t.

The truth is that Stevey was an ordinary guy with a big goal and refused any lack of experience influence his chances of success. He took it on and let nothing stand in his way until he achieved it.

It might not be an ultramarathon for you or me, but we all have that thing we’d love to achieve. All we need to do is believe.


To make a donation to the fundraising effort head over to Stevey’s fundraising page where donations are still being accepted.

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Joe Cunnane Practice Owner TRA Professional Services       Qualifications:  FCA Chartered Accountant & AITI Chartered Tax Advisor Joe has over 20 years experience working in both private practice and industry ... Read More »