Marathon mission in memory of dear friend

The sudden death of Carnmore man Cathal Hynes last year left those who knew and loved him bereft.  Among them was Trevor Casserly. His friendship with Cathal had been forged in boyhood thanks to a shared love of hurling and it had stood the test of time. Trevor explains to STEPHEN CORRIGAN why he is running seven marathons in seven months to honour Cathal’s memory, while also fundraising for Galway Hospice.

Nothing could have prepared Galway man Trevor Casserly for the shock of suddenly losing one of his best friends last year.

The tragic death of Cathal Hynes was devastating for his family and left his tight-knit group of friends under a cloud of grief that was very difficult to get to grips with, says the former Carnmore hurler.

Their loss felt insurmountable at times, Trevor says, but he was determined there had to be some way to honour the memory of his friend, at the same time as finding an outlet for the pain of losing someone so dear.

And it was out of that determination that ‘Seven Marathons in Seven Months’ was born.

“Cathal was a good friend of ours who passed away last August and his nickname – or one of them – was ‘The Seven’, because he played wingback for our hurling club, Carnmore, for years,” Trevor explains.

“Just before Christmas, I was feeling low enough and the whole thing was getting to me. The idea came to me that I could do seven marathons in seven months, in honour of Cathal’s nickname. I was also thinking it’d be a way of getting the other lads involved and we might raise a bit of money for charity as well,” he adds.

Striking while the iron was hot, he sat at his laptop and booked the seven marathons – all over Ireland, and one in Germany – giving himself 16 weeks to prepare for the first one.

“I couldn’t back out then,” he laughs.

For Trevor, it was something positive to focus on amid the sadness.

“I do feel like it’s given me, and everyone else who’s supporting me, something to concentrate on. It has been my full focus now since December – training four or five nights a week, planning things, talking to the lads and meeting them for training. It’s definitely been a good distraction.

“I don’t know if that’s a great way of dealing with grief, but I wouldn’t be a mighty man for talking about things so I thought this was a good way of getting out and keeping Cathal in my head at the same time,” he says.

The pair’s bond started with their shared love of hurling, nurtured at Carnmore Hurling Club.

Cathal was from Carnmore, while Trevor is a Claregalway man – although his sporting code of choice meant Carnmore became his spiritual home.

“He was maybe six months older than me, so was a year above me at underage level. We never played on the same team until we were under 21s.

“But we always knew each other and we played together all through our adult career then. We were part of a big group that way, but there was a smaller group then,” explains Trevor.

Pictured: Trevor Casserly: ‘It has been my full focus since December – training, planning things, talking to the lads and meeting them for training.’ PHOTO: JOE O’SHAUGHNESSY.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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