Rathangan hero John is an Ironman

Some weeks ago we brought you the story of Rathangan man John Casey who had turned his life around in the last 12 months by losing 10 stone .

Some weeks ago we brought you the story of Rathangan man John Casey who had turned his life around in the last 12 months by losing 10 stone .

At the time 39 year old John was planning to complete his first half Ironman and last Sunday, September 2, in Galway, he finally achieved his dream.

John Casey was an active and sporty young man until work and life took over in his early 20’s. But when he started driving a taxi six years ago, the weight just piled on. He was a 23 stone man with a 44 inch waist.

He’s now 13 stone with a 30 inch waist.

John’s wife Anne, and his children Davin, 25, Leanne, 22, and Jessica, 15, have been very supportive of John and were down in Galway for the big event.

In fact Anne and Leanne went down a few days earlier and volunteered to help with the Ironman.

At the end of the event which involves swimming two kms, cycling 90kms and running 21kms, John was emotional, which, Anne says “isn’t like him”.

“It had been such a long journey for him,” she explained. “And then the other lads started getting tearful as well,” she added. “They knew how hard he had worked for it.”

John had lots of support from fellow Kildare men, Philip Casey from Prosperous, Tom Cribbin, Clane and Anthony Donoghue from Allenwood, all of whom also completed the half Ironman.

From not being able to run up the stairs, John is at a point now where he regularly runs 17kms and cycles 120 to 150kms with the Clane Wheelers Group.

“They were great for John,” Anne said. “Full of support.”

One day last September John got out of bed and said he was going to the gym. And he hasn’t looked back.

“I just had to cop meself on,” John told the Leinster Leader. “I thought, I may as well lose it now., because in another 10 years I could have health troubles with the weight.”

John’s journey has inspired the whole family.

“Anyone who ever wants to achieve a goal should just go for it. It can be done,” Anne reflected.

- Conor McHugh