Family & Parenting

Marie Louise McConville: Marathon efforts to help others

I've finally realised the Belfast Marathon is about so much more than personal bests and running conditions - it's about the amount of good will that goes into help countless charities. Picture: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Marie Louise McConville

It's nice to be nice, isn't it?

Nothing beats the warm, fuzzy feeling you get in your tummy, knowing you've helped or supported someone.

And, it will come as no surprise to many of you just how much goodwill there is here in Northern Ireland, despite what they write about us.

Anyone who attended or even just watched the Belfast Marathon last weekend will have seen at first hand just how caring people here are.

For the first time, I had a personal interest in the marathon as my husband, Darren was running a relay leg in aid of a much-deserving cause.

He was part of 29-strong team who had volunteered and came together in memory of someone that meant a lot to them.

Together they raise more than £10,000 and the funds are still coming in.

The kids and I were super proud of him for the wonderful effort he and the team made to help others.

Of course, they weren't the only ones.

They were just some of the thousands of selfless people to undertook to run the marathon or relay in aid of a charity.

Arriving at Ormeau Park on Sunday, I was absolutely amazed at the amount of good causes that benefit from the event.

From Marie Curie and Aware to the Epilepsy Society and Pips - and they were just a small amount - there were generous runners representing hundreds of charities. Such wonderful people.

And it wasn't just those running who were in a giving and caring mood.

Darren told me he was really grateful to those who had lined the route he was running and had cheered him and the others on

He was particularly complimentary about those along Finaghy Road North and along the Andersonstown Road in west Belfast - I've always said the west is best - who shouted support, played music, handed out water, jelly babies, fruit and even high-fives.

He described how the support made all the difference to him and those he was with and spurred them on along the way.

It was while I was in Ormeau Park watching everyone that I realised that the event is about so much more that times and conditions, it's about helping others.

Well done to all of those who ran, jogged, hobbled, walked or crawled in aid of a good cause and thank you to all who came out to support and encourage those brave souls along the way.

None of you will ever quite know just how much your effort means to others.


I'm sending lots of Happy Birthday wishes this week to singer, Adele, who turned 31.

Despite going through a divorce and dealing with lots of horrible press about the split, the singer threw herself a lavish Gatsby-themed party at the iconic $135m Godfather mansion in the US.

Wearing a 1920s dress and with her hair curled, the singer looked fab.

Posting online, the hit maker said 31 is "going to be 31 is going a big ol' year and I'm going to spend it all on myself".

Well done for looking after yourself, celebrating yourself and for doing it in mega style.



With Summer on the horizon, it's time to start planning activities, so how do you fancy winning a family pass to new Disney blockbuster, Aladdin?

The thrilling and vibrant live-action adaptation of the Disney animated classic tells the tale of charming Aladdin, the courageous and self-determined Princess Jasmine and the Genie who may be the key to their future.

Directed by Guy Ritchie, the live-action version stars a host of big names including Will Smith, who will star as the genie, Mena Moussad who takes on the role of Aladdin, and Naomi Scott, who will star as Princess Jasmine.

In addition, Marwan Kenzari takes on the role of Jafar, Navid Negahban plays the Sultan, Nasim Pedrad stars as Dalia and Billy Magnussen is Prince Anders

It's sure to be magical.

The movie is due to be released on May 24.

I have two family passes for Aladdin at Movie House Cinemas to to give away.

If you fancy winning a pass, simply email your name, address and telephone number – along with the answer to the question below – to

Closing date for entries is Tuesday, May 14, 2019

(Q) Which actor stars as the Genie in the new Aladdin movie?

Normal Irish News Rules Apply

The winners of the Harmony Live competition are:

Bernie Mellan, Belfast

Ciaran Savage, Saintfield

Colm McGurgaghan, Strangford

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