Mark Beattie from County Cavan, who is turning 50 this August has decided to take on the Belfast City Marathon this October to support Air Ambulance NI. We caught up with Mark, to ask him a few questions about the marathon and why he’s chosen to support the charity.


Why are you supporting Air Ambulance NI (AANI)? 

“AANI is a charity partner for my company Expleo, after hearing the work they do and the challenges they face, I knew I had to support them. I hope they never have to use the AANI service, but ensuring it is there for my family and my Expleo colleagues living in NI if they ever need it is something that made me want to help any way I could.”


Have you ever done any running/marathons before? 
“No! I have never been a runner and always hated running! Expleo held a 100k Challenge, where we were encouraged to walk, run or cycle 100 Km over the month of January, since the gyms were closed due to the pandemic I gave it a go as a way to keep active. I started to enjoy pushing myself to hit the target, after I completed it I was looking for another challenge. AANI were introduced as a Charity Partner and gave a presentation on how they raise money, The Belfast City Marathon was mentioned and a “light bulb” went off and, in a rush of adrenaline, I said that I would run a marathon for them right there during the meeting!”


How are you training for the marathon event?
“I have a training program from the Running Clinic and very easy to follow and enjoyable. It’s a 20 week plan and is free to download. My dad has run numerous Marathons so am also getting advise from him, although he keeps telling me he will charge me for it! Currently, I am running 5 to 6 miles 3 days during the week and a long run on a Sunday that’s usually 11 – 12 miles. To date, I have run two half marathons, a 10Km, and a 5Km virtual race.”


Have you any training tips for anyone thinking about getting involved? 

“Yes, I have 5 main tips:

  • Have a Training plan – It will help build your fitness and build up the distance
  • Invest in Good Running Shoes– Any running site will say this is the number one priority, a decent pair of running shoes
  • Warm Up– A good static warm-up will help reduce injury
  • Fuelling On Longer Runs– When the runs start to get long, you need to ensure your body has fuel and is hydrated or your muscles will ache and you will be exhausted
  • Sounds – find music that is uplifting, although I usually love hardcore Metal, it isn’t the best for running! Another great way is to find a good podcast or audiobook that you get engrossed and lost in, the miles will fly by!”


You can support Mark’s fundraising by clicking here. If you’d like to take part in the Belfast City Marathon for Air Ambulance NI, you can find out more information by clicking here. 

Share this post