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      Runners encouraged to form a relay team for Belfast Marathon

      Action on Hearing Loss Northern Ireland is encouraging people to form a relay team at work or with friends to run the Belfast Marathon on Monday 7 May.

      Sally Gillespie, from Holywood, and Barry Campbell, from Bangor, took part in the event last year with their relay team, ‘The Allstars’.

      Sally said: “I am most definitely not a runner! I could happily do water sports for hours on end but tarmac just never caught my interest. I agreed to be part of the team on the condition that I got the shortest leg. The team were supportive enough to agree - before bursting out laughing and telling me that the shortest leg had all the hills! 

      I work with the Deaf community and have the privilege of working for a number of different organisations. What stands out to me about Action on Hearing Loss is the far reaching nature of its services – it’s a specialist organisation but it provides services to a hugely diverse population. Deafness is so varied but so is the work of Action on Hearing Loss - it’s a charity where everyone is supported.”

      The Allstars team raised £1,156 for the charity. Their fundraising success was encouraged by Barry’s pledge to complete his leg in a tutu and fairy wings if they raised over £400.

      Allstars team marathon runners

      Barry said: “As a Deaf person, I am passionate about the work of Action on Hearing Loss to support the Deaf community in Northern Ireland. I’ve enjoyed running all my life so when the opportunity came to join a relay team I was keen to be involved. I ran my leg of the marathon in a tutu – I never thought that we would raise so much! People were very generous and it was amazing to see the positive impact that the money has on the charity. Joining a team is a really fun way to take part.”

      Nuala Muldoon, Fundraising Executive at Action on Hearing Loss, added: “As a marathon runner myself, it’s great to see people challenging themselves to keep fit or reach a new personal best, whilst raising money to support people who are deaf, have hearing loss or tinnitus. We provide all our runners with an exclusive Action on Hearing Loss running vest, training tips and support to reach and exceed their fundraising targets. The support we receive from this event makes a big difference to our work in Northern Ireland, enabling us to provide services across the country including befriending, employment support, information, and tinnitus support. I look forward to seeing all our runners on the day!”

      To sign up for the Belfast Marathon to support Action on Hearing Loss, visit http://bit.ly/belfast-marathon

      For more information, contact fundraising.ni@hearingloss.org.uk