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Girls take the strain as Runher just keeps on growing

By Amanda Poole

Record numbers of women and girls took part in Runher, the Belfast Telegraph-sponsored race for women yesterday.

The weather played its part and autumn sun was shining down on Stormont Estate as the runners pounded the pavement in aid of Cash For Kids.

The event is now in its fourth year, and yesterday proved to be a great success, with the event going from strength to strength.

Parliament buildings provided a beautiful backdrop for the race, with the little ones starting proceedings with a one-mile children's race, watched by hundreds of spectators all along the route.

video: Coronation Street star Vicky Binns Runher

video: interviews with organisers and competitors

Race Director Michael Jenkins from Up and Running NI said he started Runher with the idea of promoting a women-only race that would be more relaxed and supportive than other competitive events.

Following feedback from participants, those signed up for yesterday’s 5k and 10k races followed a new route starting and finishing at Prince of Wales Avenue.

Mr Jenkins said “We are ecstatic with the success of this year’s Runher.

“It is now the third-biggest indigenous running event in Northern Ireland, just behind the Belfast Marathon and the Lisburn Half.

“From 220 women in the first year, we’ve had a record turn out for Runher with 1,000 in June 2010 and 1,200 this time.

“I am absolutely delighted with the day and we are hoping to raise £10,000 for Cash for Kids.

“The sun has shone and everyone has a smile on their face.”

Coronation Street star Vicky Binns swapped the cobbles of Weatherfield for the front of Parliament Buildings to take part in the event.

The actress said: “Today has been absolutely great.

“I have been running for about five years and love it so much.

“It has been fantastic to be involved in something I am passionate about, combined with a trip to Ireland.

“I’ve not been very well this week, so I decided to do the 5k instead of the 10k, though people won’t believe me that it’s not been because of a hangover.

“I could hear everyone outside partying from my hotel room, but I got an early night.”

She said Runher was a unique event.

“All the women were being very polite to each other, moving out of the way for each other, waiting for friends to cross the line and holding hands.

“It really was one of the most beautiful runs I have ever done. It’s great to see all sorts of different people take part.

“At one stage I was getting out of breath and a 12-year-old girl sailed past me. She made it look easy!

“For everyone taking part, this is a great achievement and I am delighted to have been part in Runher.

“I have had a fantastic time and it was a real pleasure to see how you guys do it over here.”

Darren Fowler, charity manager for CoolFM’s Cash For Kids said: “There has been a fantastic turnout.

“All the girls did so well.

“There was a really nice atmosphere and it was a fun race to be involved in.

“The weather was great for spectators and those taking part.

“I want to thank everyone so very much as events likes this are really important to Cash for Kids, as the money raised goes to really great causes.”

To purchase pictures from Runher 2010 visit our Photosales Section

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