The Belfast City Marathon started in May 1982 and participants can enter into the Main Marathon Race, Wheelchair Race, Marathon Walk, Team Relay and Fun Run. PeacePlayers International- Northern Ireland took part in the in the team relay part this year on Monday the 4th of May. This is the 3rd time PeacePlayers has participated in the marathon. Members of staff, Champions4Peace participants and board members helped to fundraise to sponsor the PeacePlayers runners and raise some money for the organisation. Our international fellow Joe Smith was the first member of staff to complete this marathon and what made it even more special was the fact that he finished it in 4:17 minutes. He is still standing! We would like to send special thanks to everyone that donated to the organisation and sponsored the runners. We do acknowledge that fundraising can be challenging but working collectively we can make a significant difference. So far we have raised more than £2,000.00 and additional donations are still very much welcomed.
James Proctor who is a participant in our Champions4Peace programme shares his marathon experience:
“Hey everyone my name is James Proctor and I’m from North Belfast. I have played sports my whole life – Gaelic and soccer being the main sports I play. I’m involved in the PeacePlayers Senior C4P programme and I am a volunteer coach for the after school Belfast Interface League (BIL) programme. Being part of this programme is extremely beneficial and fun. I have made a lot of friends for life through this programme and have gained new skills and qualities. I participated in the Belfast City Marathon Relay on behalf of PeacePlayers, and Hannah Bryne (a fellow senior C4P) and I shared ran the same leg . The relay leg that we ran was was 7.1 Miles. I completed that in 1hr 16 mins. I had not trained for the marathon as I stepped in at the last minute and I loved it! It taught me to break through the pain barrier and reach beyond that place I never thought I could get to before. Everyone should try to compete in the marathon! It is extremely fun and a really good thing to be a part of. It was great to be part of the the thousands of people that were running for their charities, to raise awareness and funds.
My favourite part was reaching the finish line knowing that I completed a goal that I had for a long time…..to complete the marathon one day. The Belfast City Marathon is hugely beneficial for organisations like PeacePlayers that help to bridge divides, develop leaders and change perceptions; helping communities from different religions to come together and unite, make change through sport.
I wish more people could donate to PeacePlayers and help more people like me who hope to give back to the organisation one day by becoming a coach and work myself up to the Peaceplayers wedge.”
Many thanks to James and all those who ran for peace this week!