The 2017 Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon launched this week and Ballymoney’s Amber Getty is once again calling on the public to start training and fundraising in aid of Mencap, the official charity partner of the race.
Amber ran the full marathon last year – her first marathon ever – in aid of Mencap, the learning disability charity. To date, Amber has helped raise nearly £10,000 for Mencap through her own fundraising and her recruitment of 12 relay teams who also ran in support of the charity.
Organisers launched the 2017 Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon earlier this week and entries are now open for the race and its associated events, happening May Day Bank Holiday, Monday 1st May 2017.
Amber is calling on runners of all abilities to support the learning disability charity like she did.
“Last year’s race was my very first marathon,” Amber said. “I know if I can run a full marathon, anyone can! I decided to support Mencap because my cousin, Adam, has a learning disability so I understand the importance of Mencap’s work in Northern Ireland and how the charity helps families. It was an incredible feeling to cross the finish line after running 26.2 miles, especially knowing that I did it for Mencap.
“I encourage everyone from Ballymoney and across Northern Ireland to get involved in the marathon, relay or Fun Run this year and support the charity. I can promise you people like my cousin Adam will directly benefit from any funds raised.”
The Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon is one of the biggest fundraising events in Northern Ireland, with almost every runner or walker taking part to benefit charity. Margaret Kelly, Director of Mencap in Northern Ireland, said she hopes people like Amber serve as an inspiration for runners and walkers thinking of signing up.
“We are so excited to once again be the official charity partner for the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon,” Margaret said. “Last May we raised an amazing £125,000 and we are calling on everyone across Northern Ireland to help us raise even more in 2017.”
“You don’t have to be a champion runner to take part on Marathon Day – anyone can get involved, whether that’s signing up a relay team or bringing the kids along to the Fun Run. No matter what the event, we encourage everyone to run or walk in aid of Mencap this year.
“Funds raised from the marathon will go toward a number of initiatives including our soon-to-be-launched family support programme, which will provide bespoke, one-on-one guidance for families with a young child with a learning disability. This innovative initiative is a first for our charity and we are launching it this autumn thanks to the money raised by the marathon. However, we still need funds to help us extend this programme over the next few years and reach even more children and families who urgently need our help.
“We encourage everyone to ‘Step up for Mencap’ this year and we can’t wait to see everyone on Marathon Day!”
Entries are now open for the 2017 Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon. To sign up or learn how you can #StepUp4Mencap, visit mencapbigstepforward.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 028 9069 1351.