Tom McGrath is readying for a hundred mile run to raise funds for kids’ running shoes
By Ray O’Hanlon
With the weather getting a little cooler Tom McGrath is warming up again.
The Fermanagh-born ultra-runner is preparing for his latest challenge: a 100 mile run taking in New York City’s five boroughs.
And while Tom is wearing down another pair of running shoes, he will be raising money for thousands of pairs to be donated to “Achilles Kids” in the city.
“Last year we raised enough to buy 6,300 pairs,” said Tom, owner of the Black Sheep bar and restaurant in Midtown Manhattan.
“There is an enormous amount of support out there, so we’ll see where it goes,” he told the Echo.
“We have already collected $76,000 for this year,” he said.
That’s a lot of sole, even at the price commanded by running shoes these days.
Tom’s five borough run – it’s not much more than an extended trot by his standards – will have him visit a number of schools and on Friday, October 2, he will be accompanied by many of the kids he has helped in a run on Fifth Avenue.
Tom’s running exploits have been documented for many years and are familiar to Echo readers.
But his full life story is still a bit of blank page to many.
That’s about to end as a result of a new documentary about Tom McGrath called “Lazarus Running.”
Tom’s passion for running is not lifelong.
But it could turn out to be the reason for a long life.
At one point in his journey Tom was in hospital and close to death. The cause was alcohol.
He made promises to his doctors and to himself that if he came out of hospital alive he would do two things: quit drinking and start running.
He has kept both pledges.
And how he has accomplished this is explained in “Lazarus Running,” which will be shown at 7 p.m. on October 2 at the Helen Mills Theater, 137 -139 W. 26th St. (between 6th and 7th Avenue) in Manhattan.
The theater will also be the official finishing line for the 100 mile run.
After the screening there will be a complimentary buffet and cocktails at the Black Sheep on 3rd Avenue and 38th Street. For those with sore feet there will be complimentary transportation.
There is a suggested donation of $100, which buys four pairs of shoes.
All donations go to Achilles Kids and are one hundred percent tax deductible.