A village community has rallied around to raise thousands of pounds for two children’s charities by competing in various stages of the Belfast marathon.
More than 40 participants from Cloughmills and Ballymena took to the streets of the capital city on the May Day holiday to demonstrate their commitment to the fund raiser which benefitted two organisations.
Butcher Steven Magill and his wife Donna along with Donal Martin came up with the idea and invited two local families who had already identified themselves with good causes.
For Nicola Lorimer and her partner Phillip Tafts from Cloughmills it was an easy choice.
After they tragically lost their two-year-old son, Archie, to a freak accident at their home at the beginning of the year they were comforted by SANDS the stillbirth and neonatal death charity - which has since become their late son’s nominated charity.
The other nominee Orla McMullan is helping her three-year-old daughter Niamh recover from Leukaemia and her chosen charity was the Children’s Cancer Unit at the Royal Victoria Hospital for Sick Children.
Family members and friends came together to support the event and the result saw generous contributions from businesses and residents in the village and beyond.
Some of the participants did the fun run while others ran the full marathon in relays.
Only one person from the group, Steven Magill, completed the full length.
It was his second appearance at the Belfast event having previously taken part in the Dublin marathon.
His only complaint this time round was that he had blisters on his left foot but was delighted to have contributed and help these two extremely worthwhile causes.
All the runners met at the Millside restaurant for a celebratory meal after the marathon where experiences were shared.
They were deeply grateful to everyone who had supported or sponsored them and although the final total has yet to be established it will run into thousands of pounds.
Well done everyone!
For more information about SANDS go online to www.uk-sands.org.