Runners and walkers at the 2017 Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon better bring their ‘A’ game this May – they’ll be racing against an Olympic gold medallist.
Dame Mary Peters, CH, DBE is taking on the 8-Mile Walk this year, one of the events on Marathon Day, in aid of Mencap NI, the official charity of the marathon. She said:
“The main reason I wanted to get involved for Mencap was to highlight that young people with a learning disability can enjoy sport just like everyone else. I have taken part in events for Mencap before, including a trek across New Zealand that raised more than £10,000, so I know how important the organisation’s work is to our community.
“While I enjoy staying active, I haven’t walked 8 miles in a while so this one will certainly be a challenge! But I am looking forward to Marathon Day and I hope my involvement encourages many more people to take part. There are so many events on the day, including the Fun Run, the team relay, the wheelchair race and the full marathon, so there’s something for all ages and abilities. Supporting Mencap on May Day is a great way to enhance your own life but also enhance the lives of people with a learning disability.”
Margaret Kelly, Director, Mencap Northern Ireland, added:
“We would like to thank Dame Mary Peters for her continued support of Mencap and for taking on the 8-Mile Walk.
“At Mencap we believe anyone can get involved in the 2017 Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon. We are calling on participants across all events to not only run or walk, but to also help us raise funds we urgently need to help children and young people with a learning disability across Northern Ireland. Donations from the marathon will help fund a range of services, including after school clubs and holiday play schemes, as well as a new family support service to provide one-on-one guidance to families with a child with a learning disability.