This October 3rd Ian, Aine, John and Francis from Elliott Duffy Garrett will all be running together as a relay team in the Belfast City Marathon!
We caught up with them to find out how their training is going, what motivated them to take part and any tips they might have for anyone interested in taking part in the marathon as a relay team.
So guys, will this be your first Belfast City Marathon?
John: No - I have previously ran a leg in the relay in 2019 and I also ran the Belfast Half Marathon 2021 for the NI Hospice
Aine: Yes, first time marathon runner!
Francis: First time for me as well!
Ian: I could not actually tell you how many times I have done it now! I think I have only missed one in the last six or seven years. That probably makes me odd but I do enjoy it, particularly the new route.
As a first time marathon runner we'd love to hear what motivated you to sign up on this occasion, Aine?
Aine: I thought having a marathon looming in the not so distance future would motivate me to start running again and shift some of the lockdown weight!
Ian, as a seasoned pro, tell us more about your running hobby…annual or regular?
Ian: Historically I would have been running in fits and starts but now I try to make it a more regular activity. That has become more of a challenge since I recently became a father for the first time, but I generally still try to get out once a week. I have done a few half marathons over the last few years, including the Great North Run in Newcastle-upon-Tyne (which was amazing, though I disappointingly did not beat Mo Farah), and last year during the pandemic I took part in the Great North Run Solo, during which I ran 128 miles across 40 runs/78 days. That was a nice challenge and a good way to stay active during what was a particularly challenging period for everyone.
And do you have any training tips can you share with the other runners?
Ian: Running is hard, especially at the start or when you have taken a break from it for a while. Everyone is different but training, for me at least, is mostly about finding the willpower and energy to actually get out and get going in the first place. Start small, start slow and build up. I think the key is then to try and find some regularity to your outings, and after a relatively short while you will hopefully find that your fitness is improving. My other top tip is not to compare yourself with others. It is cliché I know, but you really are only running against yourself and absolutely nobody cares what you look like or how fast you are going.
John, what would you love to achieve from participating?
John: It is great to be able to raise vital funds for an important charity like the NI Hospice and the marathon is a really enjoyable event with the crowd lining the route to support all participants.
Francis, if you had to pick your favourite running tune what would it be?
Francis: It would have to be Beautiful Day- U2!
Why do you think it’s important to Northern Ireland Hospice that companies take part in the Marathon relay race?
Ian: Obviously there is a significant fundraising element and undoubtedly that is important, given the nature of the invaluable services you provide and the costs associated with doing so. However, there is more to it than that. I think it is also about showing support and saying thank you to the people who do the important work, day in and day out.
What do you think will be your biggest challenge on the day?
Francis: Not falling over my own feet and embarrassing myself in front of everyone!
What are you most looking forward to achieving by completing a leg of the relay?
Aine: The satisfaction of completing a section of the marathon, supporting my work colleagues as well as Northern Ireland Hospice.
Why it is important to you personally to raise funds for Northern Ireland Hospice by running in the relay race?
John: The hospice is a great charity and raises vital funds for an important cause that affects many of us. It is great to be able to raise funds for such an important local organisation
Thanks so much to the relay team at Elliott Duffy Garrett for your support and we wish you the very best of luck in the marathon!