School's out for athlete's charity run

Published Friday, 11 April 2014
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A Belfast athlete had an early morning school run with a difference and helped to raise vital funds for the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice.

School's out for athlete's charity run
School children showed their support for Gary. (© UTV)

Gary Keenan ran 40 miles - the equivalent of one-and-a-half marathons - and visited 71 schools along his route to help highlight the good work of the charity.

Bernadette Davis, vice principal of Park School in south Belfast - where Gary started his epic challenge - said her pupils had been excited about meeting the runner.

The 51-year-old hoped to raise over £2,000 for the challenge.

Speaking at his finish line at Sandbrook Nursery in east Belfast Mr Keenan said he felt "fantastic".

He said: "It couldn't have gone better. I was very excited to see all the kids along the way with their banners of support and more importantly to see them support the Children's Hospice."

Jenay Doyle, community fundraiser for the hospice added: "It costs us £3m every year to run our services and we rely on donations of £2.5m, so things like this are so important for us and this is such a great way of showing how you can use your passion and your hobby to really do something for charity."

Crossing the finish line Gary said he looked forward to getting some rest and something to eat, but would be back on the streets for training on Saturday.

© UTV News
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