While there were plenty of toned calves and trainers at the Stormont Estate yesterday afternoon there were also plenty of pushchairs, dogs, patient fathers, supportive families and even some cuddly mascots.
In order to raise money for local charity Cash For Kids women of all ages and abilities were watched by supporters as they walked or ran the course — as much of a personal challenge to many as well as a good cause.
Children were entertained by a bouncy castle, balloon artists and there was even a free fun run for youngsters.
The day was all about keeping fit, raising money and having a bit of fun. TV presenter Lynda Bryans was triumphant after taking off 10 minutes from her previous time. “Although my son couldn’t take part he trained with me for a month in the lead-up to the race,” said Lynda.
“I would run around Stormont and he would cycle behind me to keep me company — every so often he would start humming the theme tune from Rocky to keep me going!
“Because it’s all girls together it’s wonderfully inspiring for women and there is a fabulous atmosphere here. I did it for the first time last year and both times it was really good fun.”
Arlene Campbell and Jenny Napier took part for the first time this year after forming an informal running group through their gym.
“It’s been a brilliant event and I love that there were no men to get competitive, so there was no pressure on you while you ran,” said Arlene.
Jenny said: “I’ve never run in such a large group before and I really enjoyed it — everyone has been laughing and joking their way around the course.”
It was also the first event for Julie Kane and her colleagues at Knockevin Special School, who had started running after school to keep fit.
“It’s been a really good day and really well organised,” said teacher Julie.
“Because there are lots of kids and other people around there’s been a great buzz about the whole thing. My husband John and daughter Aimee have also come along to cheer us on and they’ve really enjoyed it too.”
It wasn’t just an event for families to lend their support to — Runher was an event that enabled families to take part together.
Niamh Hughes (16) runs on a regular basis with both of her parents and this event was something she was able to do with her mum Gillian.
She said: “I ran the 5km race with mum and as it’s been my first event I really enjoyed it. I’ve had such a good time because so many other people are here and taking part.”
All in a good cause, the Runher event every year is held to raise money for local charity Cash For Kids. All donations go to supporting needy children and other charitable groups around Northern Ireland. As well as paying the £15 entrance fee, participants could raise money through sponsorship and there were collectors taking donations on the day.