The Belfast City Marathon: the big day is looming

by Anne Hannan
Partnerships Manager (Scotland & Northern Ireland)

Anne Hannan, Partnerships Manager (Scotland and Northern Ireland)



I can hardly believe that it’s less than three weeks until marathon day. My 16-week training programme started on Boxing Day and time has absolutely flown by. My last long run will be this week when I will complete 20 miles. This should (fingers crossed!) take me around 3 hours 15 minutes. Mentally I am very strong and focused on running a good race and physically I’ve done all in my power to prepare. I am so pleased to be injury free, which is a miracle at my age!

Cross training is key


I keep emphasising this point but I fully believe cross training has helped to keep me injury free. So, to put this theory into practice I spent my Easter break in Majorca with the Olympian Tri Club cycling team. It’s a tough job. but someone has to do it!

In six days we covered well over 400 miles with much of it being uphill. The sun was shining which made the whole thing that little bit more pleasant. Cycling builds up great strength in the legs which really helps your running. Also the swimming pool was so freezing cold it was an excellent post cycling recovery – just like an ice bath. We laughed one afternoon when two small children jumped into the pool, screamed and then immediately jumped out again.

A reminder of why I’m doing this


Easter was also an exciting month for Marie Curie. The charity launched its new information and support service as it aims to provide care and support for more people with any terminal illness. It’s nice to know that all my hard work is helping to make this possible.

We were delighted to celebrate this launch in our hospice in Belfast with coffee and a special cake baked by Archie Hunter who is only 14 years old.

Keeping my energy up


The emphasis for me now is on eating the right food to give me the energy I need. I have been eating high in protein porridge oats on my hard training mornings and find them amazing for slow release energy. During my long runs I have been trying to take energy gels and energy drink regularly to sustain me. Once you run out of energy it’s too late – game over, so eating properly is essential.

I want to thank everyone who has supported me in my training. Many of the Marie Curie staff are running in relay teams – only last week a new team of Marie Curie doctors signed up and this encourages me so much and keeps me motivated.

Thank you to all who are raising money for Marie Curie and good luck on the day – if you see the ‘poster girl’ please shout some encouragement.

If you're inspired to take on your own challenge for Marie Curie, then take a look at the wide range of events on offer.