Why have you decided to assemble a relay team for the 2017 Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon? Why are you running in aid of Mencap?

When asked to support Mencap in an ambassador role, I was delighted to do so. I knew I wanted to do more than pose for pictures and voice my support, so I’ve decided to get fully involved by pulling together a relay team made up of friends and family to take part.

Mencap is the official charity partner of the 2017 Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon.  We want to encourage others to get active for Mencap – what reasons would you give other people to encourage them to take on a Marathon challenge and fundraise for Mencap?

With 33,000 people in Northern Ireland with a learning disability, there are very few of us who do not know someone who will benefit from the funds raised for Mencap. Whether you are taking part in a relay or intend to complete the marathon in full, the sense of satisfaction at the finish line knowing you have done it to help others will be a huge sense of pride.

Man wearing a suit stood in a garden

Tips for staying active

What are your tips for staying active? What’s your favourite way to stay fit?

As I prepare for the GAA season ahead, our pre-season is generally made up of endurance running to build a core base of fitness before tapering it down to more speed endurance and skill based activities as the season commences.

This allows me to get myself into good physical condition.

Luckily I have the help of teammates around me to help me through the early season gruelling sessions.

What are your best words of advice for someone who is taking on a big challenge, like the marathon for Mencap?

Without a doubt, put a realistic plan in place of how you intend to complete the run. Set yourself small targets to reach on a weekly basis which will help you build sufficient fitness while giving you the confidence that all your hard work will pay off on Marathon Day.

Connor McAliskey Q and A

Connor McAliskey is a Tyrone GAA footballer. He is also part of Mencap’s Powerhouse20 relay team who are fundraising for this year’s full marathon.
Read more about Connor McAliskey Q and A

Ryan McHugh Q and A

Ryan McHugh is a All-Star GAA footballer who plays for Donegal and he is an avid supporter of Mencap.
Read more about Ryan McHugh Q and A