Ballymoney’s Amber Getty has completed her first full marathon and raised a fantastic £3,500 for Mencap.
The 26-year-old not only ran the 26.2miles at the 2016 Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon but she also inspired 12 other recruits to support the learning disability charity.
Amber has always been passionate about supporting others, having worked and volunteered with adults with a learning disability for more than 10 years. She explains: “I have always enjoyed the rewards and challenges that supporting people with a learning disability can bring. Mencap fights for the voices of people with learning disabilities to be heard, as well as supporting them and their families in everyday life. I think that is really important.”
For Amber, her link with Mencap is very personal. She grew up with her cousin, Adam Martin, who has Down’s syndrome and she observed the boundaries Adam has faced. She continued: “Adam would not think twice about going out to socialise with friends now, but I know it has taken time to break down the barriers, both for Adam himself and by the people he has met. I think Mencap plays a key role in helping to dispel misconceptions about people with a learning disability and that is why I am so passionate about supporting them in any way I can.”
Amongst Amber’s recruits were a group of her training mates from Ironfist Gym in Ballymoney who tackled the relay, and the gym’s proprietor and personal trainer Rosie McIntyre who ran the full route pushing a buggy.
“Amber really inspired us all to take part in the marathon for Mencap,” Rosie said. “I know all the ladies enjoyed the challenge of the training, and we developed a real comradery – knowing that we are raising funds for a really important cause spurred us on.”
Amber Getty raised more than £3,500 for Mencap through race sponsorship and activities ahead of the marathon.
Amber added: “While the 26.2 miles was tough, the run was better than I expected. There was a great atmosphere along the route and I had company with me every step of the way; my boyfriend joined the last leg with me and my friend, Rosie, ran the whole marathon. We all crossed the finish line together so it was great to finish such an exciting race with them, all while doing it in support of Mencap.”
Vanessa Elder, Regional Fundraising Manager, Mencap, also from Ballymoney, added: “We would like to thank Amber and everyone from Ballymoney who supported Mencap in the marathon. Donations are still coming in so we have yet to see the final total raised, but the support we’ve received so far has been incredible.”
“The money raised will help us fund a number of initiatives, such as expanding the number of children who attend the Mencap specialist nursery and launching a new support service to reach more children and families across Northern Ireland.
“For runners looking for more ways to continue to support Mencap, the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Half Marathon is coming up in September! Visit belfastcitymarathon.com/half-marathon to sign up, or visit mencapbigstepforward.org to learn more about Mencap.”