Weather helps make Sport Relief event a wonderful day out
The sun was shining and the bottles of water were at the ready as hundreds of eager sprinters took to the streets of Belfast yesterday — doing their bit for Sport Relief.
As the sunshine split the clouds on an early and unseasonably warm Sunday morning, families, celebrities and budding athletes alike raced around the city centre course — some doing the obligatory mile while others braved a daunting three or six-mile run.
TV presenter Zoe Salmon headed the charge as hundreds took off during the first wave of runners — baking in the exceptionally good weather.
“You can see everyone has been getting involved and it’s all about everyone raising as much money as possible,” she said.
Belfast runner Michael Quinn and his nephew Christopher battled it out for three miles — both looking fit as a fiddle after completing their charity outing.
“It was good. Great weather and absolutely fantastic — really glad I managed to drag myself out of bed,” said Michael.
As 1,776 red-faced runners returned after their punishing circuit the water was flowing as the successful would-be athletes were awarded their very own Sport Relief medals.
Donegall Road Primary School was one of several groups of young people keeping fit and raising money, with 17 pupils racing around the one-mile course.
“The kids loved it. We’ve been raising money and it’s still coming in,” said teacher Denise Greer.
Irish long-distance runner and Olympic medalist Sonia O’Sullivan was one of the more experienced athletes braving the course.
She joined others as part of the six-mile DHL First Nation Home Challenge.
Meanwhile, thousands of running enthusiasts joined celebrities and sports personalities for the Sport Relief London Mile.
Elsewhere, Prime Minister David Cameron was among those who ran a mile, along with his wife Samantha and their two eldest children, Nancy and Arthur.
Under blue skies and bright sunshine the family took part in an event outside Great Missenden in Buckinghamshire.
Dressed in a white Sport Relief T-shirt and knee-length black shorts, Mr Cameron was one of the first to cross the finish line.
He had sprinted ahead of his wife, who ran the route more slowly with the children.
The BBC’s Sport Relief event takes place every other year as a way of raising money for those less fortunate — both at home and abroad. Events have been taking place across the UK over the last few weeks with the main televised fundraiser drawing millions of viewers as countless celebrities did their bit for charity. Over £50m has already been raised with more still coming in.