Prominent barrister recovering after becoming unwell at 24-hour race

Ultra runner, Iryna Kennedy is said to be recovering after becoming unwell at a 24 hour race at the weekend in Belfast
Marie Louise McConville

A PROMINENT barrister is due to be released from hospital after suffering a suspected cardiac arrest during a gruelling 24-hour race in Belfast.

Iryna Kennedy, who is a member of the Bar Library, was around 32 miles into the event at Victoria Park in the east of the city on Saturday when she became ill.

Organisers of the event, the Energia Belfast 24, which was being held alongside the World 24-hour Running Championships, said a full medical team was present at the race, which drew hundreds of runners from more than 40 nations including Australia, France, Hong Kong and the US.

Ed Smith, race organiser, said Ms Kennedy, who is in her fifties and from Ballynahinch in Co Down, had "come to the medical centre on the course at Victoria Park herself where her condition deteriorated".

"There were up to six paramedics available there to look after her," he said.

"The standby ambulance was called and when her condition did not improve she was stabilised on site and transferred to the Royal Victoria Hospital."

Mr Smith added: "The care of the athletes during a 24-hour event of this nature is of paramount importance to us.

"The medical team worked to plan and everything that was required was available. The Local Organising Committee will review all our medical procedures, learn from them and carry out any recommendations that are made."

A spokeswoman for the Royal Victoria Hospital said yesterday that Ms Kennedy - a well known ultra runner - was due to be released.

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