Deep RiverRock Belfast City Half Marathon entrant celebrates his big 40 on race day
06 September 2018
On Sunday 23rd September at 9am the largest Half Marathon in Northern Ireland will take place from Ormeau Embankment. Entering its 6th year the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Half Marathon is celebrating its biggest year yet with over 4,000 participants taking part.
That’s not the only celebration taking place on 23rd September....
Omagh man Sean-Paul McCann has chosen to run the 6th Deep RiverRock Belfast City Half Marathon on his 40th birthday!
Sean-Paul, an avid runner who has taken part in a number of Half Marathons, Marathons and Ultra races says:
“Life begins at 40 they say. Well I know more than that, if it wasn’t for running I wouldn’t be here to see my 40th.”
Back on December 14th 2014, Sean-Paul experienced a massive wake-up call when his older cousin had a heart attack.
“He was older, but he always seemed so active. Thankfully he survived, but that wakeup call was the day I came to life myself. On that day I decided I had to lose weight and for the first time in 15 years I weighed myself, tipping the scales at close to 22 stone. I didn’t wait until after Christmas to change my ways, it was happening on that day. Within two months I had lost 2 stone in weight, only to see a sign at home for my local 5 mile St Patricks Day race in Altamuskin. I signed up. On that day I ran some, walked some and possibly crawled some but as I crossed the finish line and heard that applause that Lady Gaga speaks of, I asked a friend when the next race would be. I was addicted already, that high was indescribable and still is.
Skip forward a year and two months and a good few stone of weight lost, I was running my first marathon in Belfast, in 2016. I didn’t know if I would be able to complete 26.2 miles but that is the beauty of the challenge, will is great, a crowd is better and I was supported from start to finish. At the finish line I sat down for 10 minutes and when I stood up my legs had turned to iron. I couldn’t walk but I didn’t care, this was the making of me.
In the years since I have run the Belfast City Marathon another two times and a PB each time. I owe that race my best performance.
On my 40th I am very proud to take in a Half Marathon in the City of Belfast. The distance isn’t really an issue anymore, the time isn’t that important but what I feel is important is that I stand at that race on that birthday of significance. I have continued this journey and I don’t feel it will ever end. I decided to change my ways for my kids who needed me in their lives, running is needed in mine. This will be a good day.”
We are delighted Sean-Paul has chosen to celebrate his 40th birthday at the 6th Deep RiverRock Belfast City Half Marathon and wish him the very best of luck for 23rd September!
Further details on this event can be found at www.belfastcitymarathon.com.
The 2018 Deep RiverRock Belfast City Half Marathon is sponsored by Athletics Northern Ireland, Daily Mirror, Belfast City Council, Translink, Daily Mirror, ASICS, Intersport, Centra, Belfast Live and U105. Sampling partners are Musgrave Retailers, Deep RiverRock, Linwoods, Tayto and White Oats.
Mencap Northern Ireland is the official charity partner of the 2018 Deep RiverRock Belfast City Half Marathon and they urge you to #MoveIt4Mencap. 41,700 people in Northern Ireland are living with a learning disability. Mencap are the voice for people with learning disabilities, by challenging yourself in this year’s Deep RiverRock Belfast City Half Marathon you will help Mencap support even more people with a learning disability through their education, employment and family life programmes. The money you raise will help Mencap provide its live changing services to local people all across Northern Ireland. To find out more information about Mencap services in Northern Ireland; and about the people with whom we work please visit www.mencap.org.uk/ni