Mary Gleasure BSc SMISCP,
Chartered Physiotherapist

Professional assessment
Athlete: Alex O’Shea

Mary Gleasure is an Olympics accredited Chartered Physiotherapist who has broad and in depth experience across a wealth of areas : 

  • The Athletic Association of Ireland (AAI)
  • Irish Olympic team including professional athletes 2000-2012.
  • Lectured on anatomy, physiology and injury prevention for UCC.
  • Involved in Munster Rugby Senior and Developmental squads from 2001 to 2003 seasons with Nikki Davies, 
  • Provided physiotherapy for Paralympic games (1999) 
  • Special Olympics,
  • Completed training as expert witness for medical-legal court cases. 
  • Mary recently completed her post graduate studies with sports oracle. This is an international course on elite sports medicine instructed by world leaders of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).


We asked Mary for her professional assessment of Alex O'Shea having completed 32 Marathons on 16 days in September '18:

I have been Alex’s physio since 2013 when he was preparing for the Guinness world record for running a marathon in a fireman suit. He completed this challenge in style almost an hour faster than the previous challenge.

He has competed in 24-hour events for several years. His right ankle used to swell post endurance events and he was unable to mobilise for a couple of days. His Mizen Head (Co Cork, Ireland) to Malin Head (Co Donegal, Ireland) Challenge was halted by knee and ankle issues. 

I was concerned when Alex committed to the idea of completing 32 marathons in 16 consecutive days in Sept ‘18. I was naturally worried that his ankles would swell. However, the Qilta socks appear to have led to.

  • Reduction in ankle oedema during and post event 
  • Reduction in bilateral relationship ankle pain during and post event. 
  • Reduction of inflammation in the Achilles tendons bilaterally
  • Decreased calf tightness bilaterally

This effect may have assisted Alex in maintaining his optimum gait pattern even when fatigued.

Therefore, Qilta may have had a secondary effect of improving the overall kinetic chin.