The Belfast City Marathon: let’s turn the race route yellow!

by Anne Hannan
Partnerships Manager (Scotland & Northern Ireland)

Anne Hannan, Partnerships Manager (Scotland and Northern Ireland)

Much has happened since my last blog. I have now entered my 50th year, and I’m pleased to report I have started my training for the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon. The journey starts now!

I am following a 16-week marathon plan courtesy of ASICS, which believe it or not, started on Boxing Day. Like many older women I opted to run at night along a quiet country road close to where I live. Why? Well I had hoped that would lessen the chances of anyone seeing me wobbling along (let’s just say I enjoyed Christmas!).

First task: keeping safe and injury free

Being safety conscious I was wearing head-to-toe high-visibility gear, hoping that the luminous look would prevent me being run over by a random tractor. I was about a mile into my run (jog) when I saw car headlights coming towards me and then heard the screeching of brakes. An elderly gentleman got out of the car and said, “Mister, you scared the life out of me. You’re lit up like an offshore oil rig!”

Firstly, I’m no Mister, and secondly, I have never ever been likened to an oil rig. I must keep on this diet plan. The moral of the story is that high-visibility clothing does work, so stay safe out there and stay visible.

Things have improved since then and I am now running 17 miles a week (split over three runs) and will increase that mileage week on week. I also swim twice a week to help stretch out and hopefully keep me injury free. And if time allows I’d like to get out for a cycle over the weekend. Cross training suits me – at my age you don’t want too much time pounding the roads.

It's official

January marked the official charity launch of the marathon at the Marie Curie Hospice, Belfast. We had a great morning and were joined by many of our supporters, including the Lord Mayor of Belfast Cllr Nicola Mallon, Environment Minister Mark H Durkan and Marie Curie Ambassadors Judith Gillespie and Allie Ford.

Now it’s official there really is no going back. We’d love to turn the race route yellow and to do that we need your support. Don’t worry if you don’t fancy the full 26.2miles – you could enter the fun run, get involved as part of a relay team, or complete the walking course. Sign up today and create a ‘Moment that Matters’ in 2015.

And if you already have a marathon place, then join our team of runners and help support Marie Curie.

Read my first blog to find out why I’m taking on this challenge