Picture this – it’s 1980 and three young Irish brothers in their prime are living in New York City (NYC). The fourth brother is back at home in Tyrone on the family farm and is summoned to the Big Apple… to run the NYC Marathon. Over thirty years later the Quinn brothers are set to run another marathon a bit closer to home only now they’re running as part of Team MS Ireland.
Running in 1980 was the result of the time-honoured tradition of a crazy conversation in the pub taking off and quickly growing legs. “We were four fairly unfit lads but we had youth on our side. We were about 22/23 years old and played GAA so we weren’t too worried,” says Mick Quinn. The brothers were the first set of four brothers in the world to run a marathon together. The story was soon picked up by the New York Times who wanted an exclusive. As Mick says, “Once the media picked it up there was no turning back – we had to get fitter and fitter.”
The TV networks jumped on the story and soon everybody knew the Quinn brothers. Mick recalls, “A few days before the race our story was one of the leads across the networks – ABC, CBS, NBC. The headlines were ‘Russia sends extra troops to Afghanistan’, ‘Quinn brothers run the NYC Marathon’ and ‘Denver Broncos beat NY Giants’. So we were behind Russia but ahead of the Giants! Sure we had to run it then…”
The decision to take on the 2013 Dublin Marathon was an easy one for the brothers. The Quinns are a close family and Mick shares one of his father’s favourite quotes, “There’s not much a man can do on his own.” This is the basis for the brothers running the marathon and they have chosen an old Irish saying as their call-to-action – Ní neart go cur le chéile, meaning there is no strength without unity. “Ireland Inc. is in a ditch. It’s important to help each other along the journey”, Mick says humbly, “No matter what walk of life we come from if we don’t work together we won’t get very far.”
“33 years later we’re doing again. While we’re a bit more rotund now, let’s say, and we may not do it in the same time as before, our intention is the same – to raise funds for a very worthy cause like MS Ireland.”
Look out for collection buckets and special posters in your local community! If you would like to put a Quinn brothers collection box in your business or community centre please just contact Caitriona (details below).
We're asking you to get behind the Quinn brothers and support their efforts by checking out their sponsorship page or popping a few coins in the buckets in locations throughout the country. All funds raised will go towards MS Ireland services nationwide.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.