Return to Mencap Northern Ireland

Charlotte is a regular marathon runner and works for White’s Oats in Tandragee. She is one of our corporate partners and is running the full marathon in aid of Mencap to help raise awareness of our charity. This is her first marathon challenge and  is currently training four times per week as part of the Experiment 26.2 team and Team Mencap!

1. Why have you decided to take part and run the full 26.2 miles of this year’s Deep River Rock Belfast Marathon? What motivated you to enter and train during the winter months?

As a busy working mother of two I found running to be an easy way of integrating into my everyday life. I started running last October primarily to get fit but found that because so much of my time is spent juggling work and home commitments, running gave me that much needed me time and allowed me to do something that was just for me.

I tend not to think about the time of year or the weather conditions; as long as I’m wrapped up warm I always feel 100 times better after a long run. Taking on this challenge of running a marathon is a huge commitment but I’m focused and determined on completing it and making my friends and family immensely proud of me. I never imagined that after having two children and returning to work that I would find the time or be fit enough to run a marathon. I hope that when I cross the finish line on the 1st May I can inspire others to take up the challenge.

2. We want to encourage others to get active and run for Mencap. What reasons would you give other people to encourage them to take on a marathon challenge and fundraise for Mencap? What three words would you say to help inspire and motivate them?

The sense of achievement is enough in itself to take on this challenge but knowing that the money raised will go towards such a worthy and deserved charity such as Mencap keeps me motivated to succeed and cross the finish line. As a mother I understand the daily challenges of raising a family and indeed the help and support you need; Mencap provides a valued service to so many families in providing support activities to young people and children living with a disability.

Three words- Positive attitude, Sense of achievement and becoming healthy and active

3. What would be your top reason why people should get involved and #stepupformencap and what are your tips for staying active and for endurance training?

My reason for fundraising for Mencap is knowing that the money I raise will go towards Mencap achieving their £150,000 target. This money will assist in launching vital support activities to enable young people living with a disability live as full a life as possible without barriers or limitations as every child should.

It’s surprising how quickly you can build up the miles and run further when you’re committed and determined. Commitment has been key for me, in ensuring that I continue to do the short mid-week runs even after a long day at work and a busy home life waiting for me in the evenings.

4. When you have finished the marathon, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Upon reflection how would you do things differently when training for next year’s marathon?

At this stage I’m hoping just to cross the finish line in one piece!! I don’t think I would approach my training any differently; the guidance offered by the experiment 26.2 team has been invaluable and has given me the confidence to believe that I can run a marathon. If anything I would start my training a little earlier to allow myself more time to build up to the longer runs. Otherwise I’m looking forward to race day and will try and enjoy the race as much as physically possible!

Stuart is a first time marathon runner and works for White’s Oats in Tandragee. He is one of our corporate partners and is running the full marathon in aid of Mencap to help raise awareness of our charity. This is his first marathon challenge and he is currently training four times per week as part of the Experiment 26.2 team and Team Mencap!

1. Why have you decided to take part and run the full 26.2 miles of this year’s Deep River Rock Belfast Marathon? What motivated you to enter and train during the winter months?

Having been very active in my youth with football I unfortunately suffered from a hip injury which meant having to stop doing the thing I loved the most. After undergoing hip surgery I started to run to build up my fitness again and my first challenge on my road to recovery was running in the White’s relay team in 2016 for Mencap. I was hugely encouraged on how well I did and how much I enjoyed it, and this has spurred me on to do the full 26.2 miles. Seeing my time improve on each run has been great motivation during the winter months.

2. We want to encourage others to get active and run for Mencap. What reasons would you give other people to encourage them to take on a marathon challenge and fundraise for Mencap? What three words would you say to help inspire and motivate them?

My three words would be ASPIRE TO INSPIRE.  The work that Mencap does is inspiring, offering a vital support network for families whose children have been diagnosed with a learning disability. Both the challenge of running 26.2 miles and the fundraising goal of helping Mencap achieve their £150,000 target has been hugely motivational for me.

3. What would be your top reason why people should get involved and #stepupformencap and what are your tips for staying active and for endurance training?

You don’t want an easy life even if you think you do. Set yourself a goal, achieve it and #stepupformencap.

Many smart phones have activity apps which count your steps throughout the day. Keep count and try to do a few more every day. Don’t start out too fast, ease yourself into the run and your body will thank you for it later. Good nutrition is also Key especially in the form of slow release carbohydrates and I’m fortunate working for White’s to have a ready supply of porridge at hand!

4. When you have finished the marathon, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Upon reflection how would you do things differently when training for next year’s marathon?

I haven’t done a marathon yet so I’ll tell you on the 1st May but I know I’ll feel a huge sense of personal achievement! For next year I would take more time out for recovery treatments and massages.

 

#StepUp4Mencap and Sign up for 2017 Belfast City Marathon
Marathon Run

The Full 26.2 mile marathon challenge.

Sign Up Now
Wheel Chair Marathon

The wheelchair race commences one minute before the main marathon event. The Marathon Organisers, working with DSNI and Disability Action have developed the route suitable for wheel chair users.

Sign Up Now
Team Relay Challeng

This challenge is for teams of 2-5 people, running the same course as the Main Marathon Race.

Sign Up Now
8 Mile Walk

For those who think the marathon is a bit of a stretch, but who want to put their fitness to the test, try out the marathon walk – you’ll never walk alone!

Sign Up Now
Fun Run for Adults

There’s always been a great sense of fun and community at the Belfast City Marathon and the Fun Run is an awesome way to catch the vibe – silly costumes are not compulsory, but they really do help!

Sign Up Now
Fun Run for Children

There’s always been a great sense of fun and community at the Belfast City Marathon and the Fun Run is an awesome way to catch the vibe – silly costumes are not compulsory, but they really do help!

Sign Up Now