Roscommon’s Johnny Donnelly to tackle 60 marathons worldwide

A challenge taken on by Roscommon man Johnny Donnelly will see him take 10 million strides, complete 2000 miles, go through 154 pairs of runners and visit 43 countries as he attempts to complete 60 marathons back to back across the world in aid of charity. The former member of the Saw Doctors got the challenge underway last weekend at the Seville Marathon, and will take in Europe, Africa, the USA, South America, the Middle East, Antarctica and the Far East. Johnny will run around the world over the course of the next four years to raise funds for the Sea Change Foundation, an Irish charity established to raise funds and awareness for Microcredit Projects. Over 30 marathons completed Now living in Galway, Johnny has been running marathons since he was 13 and to date has completed over 30, with the six completed in 2005 alone raising over €150,000 for various charities. In 2006, Johnny completed the ‘Hot Cold Challenge’ which saw him complete the Sahara Desert Marathon, the North Pole Marathon and the Cape Town Marathon. From February 2008 until December 2011, Johnny will make his way around the world to complete his latest challenge, running over 2000 miles in over 43 countries. As part of the challenge, Johnny will also complete the Marathon Des Sables in April 2011. Considered to be the toughest footrace on Earth, this event is a six day, 254 km ultramarathon in the Southern Moroccan desert with competitors running six stages while carrying all their supplies for the duration of the event along the way. Through this latest undertaking, he is hoping to raise awareness for the Sea Change Foundation and the work it does. Established on 2006, the Sea Change Foundation is a new Irish charity that works with Microcredit organisations to tackle world poverty. Microcredit is ‘tiny loans’ targeting the worlds poorest, empowering them to lift themselves, with dignity, out of extreme poverty. Microcredit is having dramatic effects in moving families, communities and entire countries out of extreme poverty and received worldwide recognition when Muhammad Yunus was awarded the 2006 Nobel Peace prize for his pioneering work in the field of Microcredit. Sea Change is presently funding and working with microfinance partners in Haiti, Kenya, and Thailand and is raising funds to continue the important work carried out over the last number of years. Further information on the Sea Change Foundation is available at . Johnny is working on raising a target of €250,000 through sponsorship which will see 6 Microcredit Banks opened in the poorest parts of the world. Each bank costs €35,000 to establish and directly affects over 3000 borrowers in the first two years. The bank will become fully sustainable and will go into profit after approximately 18 to 20 months. These loans allow the borrowers to create employment for themselves and thus educate families, provide accommodation and raise the standard of living in some of the poorest parts of the world. Marathon lovers can also join Johnny in this challenge and details of how to join him or indeed support him are available at or by calling 1800 938 016.