Malin to Mizen False Record Claim
In May 2010, Joanne Ui Cruallaoich erroneously claimed to have run the distance between Malin Head and Mizen Head in a 'record' 5 days 13 hours 44 minutes.
Prior to her 'run', Ms Ui Cruallaoich discounted all previous records and proclaimed that Guinness World Records was the ultimate decision maker on such runs and not the Irish ultrarunning body. In essence, she hoped to be the first to submit an effort to GWR and thereby obtain a 'record' by default from the entertainment giant.
On completion of her 'run', a new 'Guinness World Record' was brazenly heralded by her despite the fact she did not even break the existing official record.
More unfortunate was the fact that Ms Ui Cruallaoich did not even run the length of the country, let alone in a record time. In fact, Guinness World Records did not award any record to her and instead outrightly rejected her claim.
During her highly publicised event, Ms.Ui Cruallaoich was witnessed being driven along some of the route in a campervan while a support runner - Andrew McDonagh - wore her GPS watch and ran alongside. She was not being returned to the route having gone off course, but was actually on the route at the time she was recorded. Mr. McDonagh was wearing Ms Ui Cruallaoich's watch, data from which was to be used as evidence for GWR, and he was doing the running in her place. His wife was driving the van carrying Ms.Ui Cruallaoich.
Andrew McDonagh and Joanne Ui Cruallaoich have now also given conflicting accounts of what happened:
In an interview with the Irish Mail on Sunday at the time, Ms Ui Cruallaoich admitted she had been driven in the back of the support van and that Mr. McDonagh was wearing her GPS watch, but insisted it was because she had run off course the night before and was being returned to the route where they had left a yellow marker. However, one of the blatant problems with this account is that she had already been running earlier on the day she was caught. Hence, the explanation is logicially inconsistent with the facts.
A year later, Andrew McDonagh posted a blog that totally contradicts their original flawed explanation from the year before. In his blog, Mr. McDonagh changes tack and claims they had only just gone off course and were simply returning to the correct route when they were spotted.
It is a most telling contradiction.
It seems the only story they can get straight is to blame others for their own actions, specifically those who blew the whistle on them. Mr. McDonagh (pictured opposite) and Ms Ui Cruallaoich both post on www.boards.ie as moderators under the names 'amadeus' and 'hunnymonster', while Mr. McDonagh operates a website www.therunningreview.com. They persistently use these mediums to undermine the integrity of those who exposed the debacle and stood up to them.
In the meantime, Jen Salter has set a new Guinness World Record for Malin to Mizen, which is also recognised by UltraRunning Ireland. Sharon Gaytor has subsequently run it in a new record time.
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