Northern Ireland runners unite for peace
Hundreds of runners from all parts of the community took to the Falls and Shankill roads in Belfast yesterday for the inaugural Race to Embrace peace run.
Members of sports clubs, individual joggers and families with young children took part in the 5km fun run, passing some of the most notorious interfaces in the city.
Among those who put on their running shoes were former Northern Ireland international Jim Magilton, Antrim GAA star James Loughrey and members of Crusaders Ladies Football Club.
Belfast Lord Mayor Pat Convery praised those taking part.
He said: “I am delighted that the Race to Embrace is — quite literally — up and running with the support of the PEACE III Programme, and I congratulate its organisers.”
The race was the brainchild of a number of voluntary organisations working to improve social conditions in the area, including Springfield Charitable Association (SCA), Belfast Community Sports Development Network (BCSDN), Women in Sport and Physical Activity.
Siobhan Rooney, chair of SCA thanked all those who took part in the event.
She said: “Sport is a great way to break down barriers and I hope that this will serve to bring the people of the Shankill and Falls closer together.”
Tom Scott, chair of BCSDN, said the event showed how much these parts of Belfast had to offer. He said: “We are confident that Race to Embrace will go from strength to strength.”
The race began at Farset International Hostel at 11am and the course covered the Springfield Road, Falls Road, Northumberland Street, Shankill Road, Lanark Way and then back to Farset with each runner paying just £2 to take part.
All entrance fees from the event were donated to the Motor Neurone Disease Association.