With just 83 days until the Deep RiverRock VIRTUAL Belfast Half Marathon, one of our supporters, ‘Oggie’ is encouraging you to get the trainers on and give running a go!  

Running extraordinaire Eugene ‘Oggie’ Winters, from Portstewart, has completed 40 sub-2 half marathons over 40 days in a row to keep fit and raise awareness and funds for Air Ambulance NI!  For those that don’t know ‘sub-2’ refers to completing the 13.1 miles in less than 2 hours.

Oggie is living proof that with a healthy amount of determination, you can achieve amazing things! Oggie’s fitness and willingness to complete this impressive challenge is truly inspiring and a spectacular feat  for anyone and in particular at the age of 63.

Now Oggie is encouraging others to get the trainers on and give running a go.  Oggie began running at age 55 and sees the launch of The Deep RiverRock Belfast City Virtual Half Marathon across the bank holiday weekend (Saturday 1st May – Monday 3rd May) as the perfect opportunity for those who haven’t run before to take on a new challenge and support your local air ambulance.

Oggie said, “I’m usually a full marathon man but this was a special challenge.  I haven’t been a lifelong runner, my first-ever marathon was the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon in 2012.” By the time he turned 60, back in May 2017, he had just completed a ‘300 marathons in 300 weeks’ for Action Mental Health – a task that would seem impossible for most of us, and he completed it ahead of target in just 270 weeks!

Now at age 63 he has completed over 500 full marathons within 500 full weeks for The Rainbow Project.

Whilst running Oggie has been passionate about supporting various charities over the years. He is aware that through the health pandemic fundraising has been very difficult for Air Ambulance NI and decided to donate £10 of his own money for every half marathon completed in a row.  So that’s £400 for Air Ambulance NI.  Oggie commented, None of us know when you might need the medical services of the air ambulance team and living in Portstewart its reassuring to know the team are there to help if needed.”

When asked about how someone might start training towards a half marathon, Oggie said, “Please go for it, follow a training schedule and so long as your fitness allows, stick to it.  Doing the runs for charity helps you keep focused and is a great one to consider starting in these challenging Covid-19 times. I have really enjoyed the running.  When I started it helped me lose weight, and now helps me keep fit, look after my mind, and deal with the grief of the loss of my civil partner, Brian”.

Kerry Anderson, Head of Fundraising at Air Ambulance NI said, “Oggie is an inspiration to us all and we are very grateful for his support.  The donation of £400 could be the next fill of fuel for the helicopter to reach a critically ill patient anywhere in Northern Ireland.  We would love those who can to consider following Oggie’s example in your own way!  You might choose to run a distance each day for a month or take on an official event like The Deep RiverRock Belfast City Virtual Half Marathon and raise sponsorship from friends and family.  Help save lives, brains and limbs.

The Deep RiverRock Belfast City Virtual Half Marathon takes place across the bank holiday weekend Saturday 1st May – Monday 3rd May and is the perfect opportunity for those who haven’t run before to take on a new challenge and support your local Air Ambulance.

Registration costs £20 including a medal and Decathlon Tech T-shirt! You can register on the Belfast City Marathon website by clicking here. 

Don’t forget to let us know when you’ve registered, and we’ll provide your free fundraising pack. Simply email: info@airambulanceni.org to get in touch. 

If you would like to sport an Air Ambulance NI running vest while you train or while you complete your running challenge to help raise awareness of our charity, we have running vests for sale here.

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