A group of Coleraine friends will be pounding the pavements at the Belfast City Marathon in memory of a loved one who died from cancer.
Jamie McNeill and seven pals will be joining the thousands of people lining up to take part in the city’s biggest sporting occasion: the annual Belfast City Marathon next Monday.
Jamie will be joined by Julieann McKeown, Alison Stewart, Carrie McVey, Julieanne Woods, Michelle Campbell and Lynsay McKeown in the Marathon Day’s 9 Mile Walk, while David McKeown will be tackling the full 26 miles and 385 yards of the marathon route in a bid to raise sporting ‘gold’ for Friends of the Cancer Centre.
The sponsorship raised by Jamie, and his friends will support the official charity of the Northern Ireland Cancer Centre, allowing it to fund specialist posts and research and provide key resources and comforts for patients and their families.
They are hoping that their dash for cash will attract sponsorship from local people and businesses and that supporters from Coleraine will be out in force along the Marathon route to offer a little extra encouragement.
“We were inspired to take part in the Marathon for very personal reasons as my best friend, Chrisy McKeown very recently past away from a cancer called Ewing Sarcoma.
“Chrisy was brother to Julieann and David, and Alison’s boyfriend. That will be very much front of mind as we get on the running gear on Marathon morning and we’re hoping that knowing it’s all for a good cause will keep us going!
“Our thanks go to T-shirt City in Portrush for putting a photo of Chrisy on to our t-shirts that Friends of the Cancer Centre kindly provided us with.”
Jamie adds: “The work of Friends of the Cancer Centre is relevant and important to all of us and I’m sure that’s why we’re already enjoying such fantastic local support.
“I don’t think for a moment that any of us will be medal material but we’re looking forward to a fantastic day of camaraderie and fun at one of the Belfast’s great sporting occasions. We know that every step we take is doing something positive for people whose lives have been touched by cancer.
Thanking Jamie and his friends for their personal – and very active - support, Claire McAuley, Events & Community Fundraising Manager with Friends of the Cancer Centre, says: “We’re always delighted when anyone decides to give their time, energy and enthusiasm to raise funds for ‘Friends’ and we wish them all every success on the big day.”