Craig Doyle is set to run his first marathon in Sydney this September in memory of his late brother.
The Limerick native has signed up to take part in the 42km race on September 16, to raise funds for the Camphill Communities of Ireland, who had been due to house his younger sibling before his sudden death.
Craig, 32, moved to Australia two years ago and was left devastated by his brother Niall’s unexpected passing eighteen months ago.
Niall Doyle had suffered from severe scoliosis and as a result had only one functioning lung.
He was just months from celebrating his 30th Birthday when he died, leaving his family heartbroken.
“He had pretty severe scholiosis and a pretty bad lung. All the other functions were okay,” Mr Doyle said.
“His lung gave in and he passed away quite suddenly.
“I got a call on the Friday asking me to come home from Sydney. I had spoken to him on the Wednesday and he seemed to be okay, except that he had a mild chest infection.
“I found out that he had died while I was in Abu Dhabi on my way home.
“That was the one thing that really haunted me, that I never got to say goodbye to him.
“I had it in the back of my head that I was going to do something in commemoration of him. When I decided to the marathon I decided the charity is who I’d like to do it for.
“Anything that raises awareness for what they do is great,” he continued.
His brother had never lived away from home prior to his death and his family had been in discussions with the Camphill Community about the possibility of assisted living.
The community is run largely by voluntary workers and their families who live together with people with special needs.
“He never actually got to live there,” he said.
“He had been really looking forward to moving in there. “Due to the research we had done with them in that time and met them a few times we really liked what they do and I want to do this for them now,” he added.
Ambitious Craig has never run a marathon before and has given himself just six months to prepare for the upcoming challenge.
The Operations Manager works full time with Grace and has been training six days a week, using a program which involves one long run, two short tuns and weight training.
Having previously played rugby for Young Munster in his home place of Limerick, he is confident he will be able to achieve his goal on time.
His aim is to raise at least €1,000 for the charity and he is already halfway there with €495 collected.
Those who wish to donate to his cause can do so at http://www.mycharity.ie/event/craig_doyles_sydney_marathon/.