‘Five mile race will be in dad’s memory’

Mervyn Thompson
Mervyn Thompson

An athlete says he will combine his passion for running and his passion for organising, to raise money for a charity close to his his heart.

Mervyn Thompson is organising a five mile road race in Portrush later this summer in memory of his father, Allen Thompson, who lost his battle with Prostate Cancer five years ago, at the age of 69.

Mervyn's late father, Allen Thompson.

Mervyn's late father, Allen Thompson.

Keen runner, Mervyn, who has a UK Ambassadors Role for parkrun explained: “I have decided now is the time to combine my passion for running with my passion for organising, and at the same time raise money for a worthwhile cause - the result being the Portrush 5 Mile Road Race taking place on Friday 26th August, with all proceeds in aid of Prostate Cancer UK.”

Mervyn is well known to local runners through his role at Portrush parkrun, he is also a member of Springwell, but he tells he didn’t pick up the sport until 2008.

“A good friend decided he was going to run the Dublin marathon for charity.

“I offered to do a bit of training with him and before I knew it, I had entered too.

“As a youth, I was never much of a runner, and thought that once the marathon was over, I would be happy to give it up again, but found out I had caught the bug as they say.

“In September 2012, I heard about a free run starting in Portrush every Saturday morning, a little known word in the North Coast area at the time - parkrun. I progressed from regular parkrunner, to helping set up the course. I then stepped in whilst Portrush parkrun founder, Andy Deal, was on holiday, to becoming Co-Event Director and most recently, I have just taken on a UK Ambassadors Role, offering technical support to all UK parkruns ( both 5k and 2k events),” explained the father of two.

The Facebook page for Mervyn’s charity event, ‘Portrush 5 Mile Road Race’ went live last week, and has already gained over 400 likes.

Mervyn has thanked everyone for their interest so far, and says that further details will be available soon.

“Race Entry is not open yet, but entries will be available on-line via Athletics NI in due course,” he added. “I would like to thank Prostate Cancer UK for their commitment to the event and Causeway Coast and Glens Council for helping me with the application process.”

If there are any individuals or businesses who would like to know how they can support the event, they can contact Mervyn via facebook or emailPortrush5@gmail.com