Clarity emploee preparing for marathon charity challenge

May 7, 2020

Clarity emploee preparing for marathon charity challenge

Clarity employee, and county Down hurler, Chris Egan is helping raise awareness and money for a mental health charity by running a marathon this weekend.

The Ballycran full forward is taking on the 26.2 mile challenge in support of TEAMS. 

The West Belfast charity - which stands for Together Educating Affects of Mental Health and Stigma - was set up last July by Darren Donnelly.

Darren recently launched a JustGiving page to raise some funds for TEAMS, and Chris decided he would boost donations by running a marathon in aid of the fundraising campaign.

"We were initially going to run the Belfast Marathon but that was cancelled," Chris said.

"Darren still wanted to try and do something to raise money, so I thought about running a marathon distance around where I live.

"I am at an age where I am pretty fit so thought why not.

"We started the fundraising last weekend and already the total is up to about £2,200 which is great. Hopefully we can raise a bit more."

Chris has got plenty of support behind him, with his hurling teammates and employers donating to his charity page.

"I play hurling for Ballycran and they have all chipped in," he added.

"I am also a pharmaceutical recruitment co-ordinator for Clarity Locums UK and they have been really supportive, too.

"I initially thought if we raised £300 it would be brilliant, so to have over £2,000 already is fantastic."

Chris will set off on his marathon this Saturday morning, and hopes to complete the distance in around four-and-a-half hours.

"I will start the run at 9am," he added.

"I live in Kircubbin, so I will be completing the marathon around that area. I can't wait.

"I have done a half marathon before and I regularly run 5 and 10k runs every week.

"I am pretty fit because of the hurling. We have been training since last November with Down, and whenever lockdown happened I said I wouldn't allow myself to get out of shape.

"So I have been maintaining my fitness with 5 and 10k runs every week. On Tuesday I do sprint work, Thursday a longer distance run and Sunday can be any distance."

Chris said he wanted to help raise awareness of mental health because of the number of young people who were struggling during lockdown.

Darren's fundraising campaign coincides with Mental Health Awareness Week which runs from May 18-24 this year.

For every 1k someone walks/cycles/runs, they can donate up to 50p to the TEAMS page.

So, a 5k effort could see you raise £2.50.

"It's not much but the mental health charities still need our help at this moment," Chris added.

"Lockdown has been tough for people. I see a lot of young people struggling with their mental health during this crisis, so I thought I would try and help.

"I am 24 and I am more laid back than most people. I am always there for someone to chat to.

"This crisis is a challenge. People can feel isolated from the world because of lockdown.

"And all we see on the news are the numbers of people who are dying, and we don't hear as much about the mental health challenges.


"I just think if more people can get involved and help in any way, they should."

When asked how confident he is on completing the marathon challenge, Chris joked: "If I have to crawl over the line on my hands and my knees, I will do it."

Anyone wanting to donate to the TEAMS fundraising page they can do it HERE

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