33-year-old Marc Jamison from Lisburn is preparing for his longest run to date, in this year’s Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon on 3 October 2021. Marc hopes that by completing this endurance challenge, he can raise vital funds for local charity Air Ambulance Northern Ireland (AANI).

Marc’s fiancée Charlotte Brown began working for Air Ambulance NI 19 months ago and through this close connection, Marc has learnt a great deal about the charity and the life-saving service it provides.

Speaking about his fundraising, Marc said, “I always knew how important the air ambulance was, but now I realise it’s much more than getting a patient to hospital quickly. The crew perform critical medical interventions at the scene of the accident that usually would not happen outside of a hospital setting.  It is reassuring to know that the service is there for all of us, should we ever need it.  As a local charity they need our help to keep the helicopter flying. Air Ambualnce NI needs £5,500 every day to sustain and develop this invaluable service, so I’m eager to do what I can to help them.”

Marc first caught the running bug when he competed a fun run event hosted by his workplace – the Citi Bank 5K. He then signed up to the Belfast City Marathon in 2020 and when that was postponed Marc didn’t let that stop him!  He ran 150 miles close to home throughout the month of May 2020 raising £500 for Air Ambulance NI. Now that the marathon is set to go ahead this October, Marc is lacing up his trainers once again.

Marc proclaims the new hobby has really helped him get over any ‘lockdown blues’, saying, “I’d encourage everyone to get out and run if they can. It has really helped me, especially over the past 17 months, to clear my mind and focus on something positive. Training for the marathon has also helped me to stay fit, which is doubly important right now as I’m getting married this August.”

The charity Air Ambulance Northern Ireland, in partnership with the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service, provides the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service for Northern Ireland.  The service brings urgent medical assistance to anywhere in the province, operating seven days a week for 12 hours per day. It can get to anywhere in Northern Ireland in approximately twenty-five minutes. From inception to May 2021 the medical crew have been tasked 2,266 times. The service was called out on 229 occasions from January – March 2021, an increase of 30 % on the previous year and a 73% increase from 2018.

Grace Williams, Area Fundraising Manager from Air Ambulance NI said, “We are very grateful to Marc for his support for the second year.  Our charity needs to raise £2million each year and every donation matters.  It is not too late to register for one of the Belfast Marathon events.  As well as the 26 miles they have a half marathon, team relay, walk or fun run.  We can help you fundraise, and you’ll be playing your part in keeping the air ambulance flying!”

To register for the Belfast Marathon, go online to www.belfastcitymarathon.com and do not forget to let Air Ambulance NI know you are fundraising by emailing info@airambulanceni.org or calling 028 9262 2677.

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