Danske Bank supports Action Mental Health by fielding team of very sociable runners

05 April 2019

Danske Bank supports Action Mental Health by fielding team of very sociable runners

It’s not very often that people can say they run two consecutive marathons – every 30 years – but for Danske Bank man Richard Hepworth it’s how the sociable runner approaches the serious task of the Olympic event.

Richard Hepworth from Belfast has always enjoyed sport, including a bit of social running. But being of a certain vintage, and around when what he describes as “marathon mania” came to Belfast in the 1980s, he decided to get a bit serious and enter.

Completing the first two in 1982 and 1983, he abandoned his running shoes until he ‘took the head staggers – aka – mid-life crisis’ and decided to re-enter the rigours of running in the 2012 and 2013 marathons.

“I thereby set a precedent of doing two Belfast marathons every 30 years. I am thinking ahead to the 2042 and 2043 marathons but am not getting much support at home for some reason,” he quips.

As just one of Danske’s many runners this year, Richard is looking forward as much to the hubbub of the May 5 event as much as the run itself – as well as the chance to support its charity partner Action Mental Health.

“I subsequently realised that the marathon relay was a great way to savour the marathon atmosphere, without as much pain as the full marathon, but more importantly a great way to raise funds for charity. The relay teams have always been made up of friends from work and we do it for a bit of fun. We have a passionate coach, Paula Owens, who keeps us motivated and encourages us to run personal bests and we are told that this is fun,” he adds with mirth.

“ In addition, we have a new member to the team and first time entrant Maura O’Leary who is going from “Couch to 5K” and she is receiving plenty of support,” he adds.

Richard admits that while his main sport these days is cycling, his running training is still ‘very ad hoc’ but that with a diet of “a lot of chocolate, cake and caffeine” he’s sure that will help to motivate him to run.  He also concedes he is a fair weather runner avoiding the “cold, rain and snow at all times”. 

And while he’s a social runner, he is a serious supporter of the reason behind his involvement in this year’s Danske relay team – to raise funds for Action Mental Health’s Healthy Me programme for school children across Northern Ireland.

“All the team have children and we are glad to be raising this profile by whatever means possible and if we can do that by raising some sponsorship and Action Mental Health’s profile along the way all the better.”

You can support #BehindTheMilesandSmiles for @action_mental_health by selecting them when registering for the 2019 Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon.  You can also email fundraising@amh.org.uk or call 028 9182 8494.


The final entry deadline is 12 April 2019.  Sign up now through the MyTicket app at www.belfastcitymarathon.com