Shane Begley: A Runner's Journey to Complete the Six Star Majors

April 02, 2024

In the world of marathon running, there exists a prestigious accomplishment known as the Six Stars. It's a quest pursued by passionate runners who aim to conquer the six most renowned marathons across the globe. Among those chasing this illustrious goal is Shane Begley, an Irish athlete whose journey is culminating in the historic streets of Boston in less than two weeks time.

Begley's pursuit of being a Six Star Finisher began in 2018 when he crossed the finish line at the New York City Marathon. Little did he know then that it would ignite a passion and commitment to complete all six of the world's major marathons. "I kinda heard of the majors and stuff, but I didn't know what the six were," Begley reflects. "But when I finished New York in 2018, and we were in a pub in New York, there was a guy there with a six-star finisher medal. When I saw the medal, I knew I was gonna try to do all six of them."

The six major marathons consist of the following iconic races:

  1. Tokyo Marathon
  2. Boston Marathon
  3. London Marathon
  4. Berlin Marathon
  5. Chicago Marathon
  6. New York City Marathon

For Begley, each marathon represents not only a physical challenge but also a unique cultural experience. "I always picked Boston as the last one. And once I read up on them, and I knew Boston was the oldest one in the world and is the most prestigious one to get into," Begley shares. "So once I knew that, then it was just a matter of time to do the other ones in some sort of order, and get to Boston for the finish."

However, Begley's journey hasn't been without its hurdles, particularly with the disruptions caused by the global pandemic. Originally planning to tackle the London and Chicago marathons in 2020, his schedule was thrown into disarray as events were postponed or cancelled. Despite these challenges, Begley remained resolute in his pursuit, adapting his plans and ultimately completing London in 2021 and Chicago in 2022.

In 2023, Begley added another milestone to his journey by conquering the Tokyo Marathon, bringing him one step closer to realising his dream of completing the Six Star majors. Now, with the Boston Marathon on the horizon, Begley stands on the brink of achieving his long-held goal.

Reflecting on his journey thus far, Begley acknowledges the support he's received from fellow runners and the running community. "It's been incredible to connect with other runners who share the same passion and goals," he remarks, while also talking about the invaluable support of his partner, Maggie.

As Begley prepares to lace up his runners for the final leg of his Six Star journey, he carries with him not only the physical endurance cultivated through years of training but also the memories and experiences gained from each marathon. Boston, with its rich history and revered status in the running world, serves as the fitting conclusion to Begley's remarkable odyssey.

For Shane Begley, crossing the finish line in Boston won't just signify the end of a marathon; it will mark the culmination of a journey fuelled by determination, perseverance, and passion for the sport. And as he takes those final strides towards his goal, he embodies the spirit of every runner who dares to dream big and push beyond their limits.

Stay tuned to Run Republic for more about Shane's journey!