Northern Ireland news

24 parkruns in 24 hours in epic bid to raise £10,000 for Children's Hospice

Sharon Dunn and Mallusk Harriers chairman Neil Campbell are among a group of runners taking on 24 parkuns in 24 hours to raise money for the Northern Ireland Children's Hospice. Picture by Stephen Hamilton/Press Eye

A group of runners are set to take on 24 parkruns in one day in a bid to raise £10,000 for the Children's Hospice.

Fifteen members of the Mallusk Harriers club in Newtownabbey, Co Antrim will push themselves to the limit during the epic challenge on June 29.

Starting out from East Strand Beach at Portrush, the team will tackle 5km courses across Northern Ireland before finishing 24 hours later in Enniskillen.

Their exhausting itinerary is the equivalent of three marathons in a day.

Two years ago the Mallusk Harriers devised and undertook the parkrun endurance test for the first time.

Inspired by the memory of club member Alan Ladd's late mother, their efforts then were in aid of Action Cancer.

The team battled exhaustion in body and mind, scaling park gates in the dead of night and racing past strangers huddled round fires to ensure they reached their goal.

Now they are ready to do it once again - this time to try to help the NI Children's Hospice.

With the charity's Horizon House centre located in Newtownabbey, club members regularly pass by on training runs.

They have also been briefed on the work it does in providing services to youngsters with life-limiting and life-threatening illnesses.

Mallusk Harriers' chairman Neil Campbell said: "It was an easy decision for us to raise much-needed funds for them."

With a £10,000 goal, he added: "We'd love everyone's support by running with us at any of our runs, and of course by donating to the Northern Ireland Children's Hospice."

To donate visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mallusk-harriers24in242019.

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