Northern Ireland news

Olympian Dame Kelly Holmes makes surprise appearance at south Belfast parkrun

Dame Kelly Holmes with Ormeau parkrun regular Grace Chambers (91) at the event in south Belfast on Saturday. Dame Kelly was making a BBC documentary about the benefits of parkrun and interviewed Ms Chambers who has completed 53 parkrun events so far. Picture: Dame Kelly Holmes's Instagram
Marie Louise McConville

OLYMPIAN Dame Kelly Holmes surprised participants in a south Belfast parkrun by turning up and donning a volunteer's vest.

The 49-year-old double Gold medal winner gave runners and walkers at Ormeau a motivational talk, clapped them around the course and scanned their barcodes at the end.

A film crew accompanied her during her visit, which is the latest in a series of appearances at parkrun events.

Many runners took to social media after the event to express their joy at seeing the famous face cheering them along.

One tweeted: "Can you imagine innocently turning up for a parkrun and there's Kelly Holmes!! amazing!" Ormeau parkrun's team tweeted: "It was a privilege to welcome @damekellyholmes to the Ormeau parkrun volunteer team today. She helped inspire 63 starstruck runners to new PBs".

Afterwards Holmes tweeted: "Fantastic day being a volunteer @ormeauparkrun filming a documentary about benefits of @parkrunUK. I met Grace who’s 91 years old and was sprinting at the end! Remember keeping fit is as much for the mind as the body!"

One of the most decorated British runners of all time, Holmes took Gold in the 800m and 1500m at the 2004 Olympics in Athens.


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