A Lurgan man has raised over £2,000 for Diabetes UK after taking part in the ‘Norn Iron Ultra Marathon’.
Jamie Collins took on the incredibly tough challenge in June after months of hard work and dedication through a strenuous training schedule, raising £2,312 for the charity.
Jamie says he had been training for the best part of a year for the epic 106 mile challenge, which started in Ballintoy and ran down the Causeway Coast and Giant’s Causeway, before finishing in Gortin, Co Tyrone.
“The scenery and the event itself was absolutely amazing, but it was extremely tough,” he admitted.
“I’ve done four marathons and then when training for this I did a run from Craigavon to Belfast and then the Belfast Marathon as well. I’ve done longer distances but nothing this extreme.”
Jamie was motivated to take part in the event after his dad and a friend took part last year to raise money for Lismore school. Jamie was a crew member and “loved it” so he vowed to take part next year.
“My dad held me to it!” he laughed.
He decided to take part to raise money for Diabetes UK as his wife struggles with type 1 diabetes.
“As well as raising money I’m hoping that it raised awareness and brought people who don’t know much about it, even to ask questions about it, or even people who might have a friend suffering from it and don’t know much about it, that they might start asking questions,” he added.
During the event, Jamie experienced a range of emotions, but his goal of raising money for Diabetes UK helped him to press on.
“There were times where I was struggling, getting it really tight, and I was phoning my wife and dad to take my mind off running.”
However, Jamie says he was “devastated” as he had to pull out of the race around 60 miles in, but says that the positive was that a lot of money was raised for the charity.
“I’d like to give a massive, massive thanks to the sponsors and the people who donated,” he said.
“My wife is my inspiration for taking on this challenge for Diabetes UK. She faces the struggle of living with this condition and I’m sure many people will know someone who lives with diabetes.”