Jim goes the extra mile in support of frontline workers

The Belfast marathon with a difference

Jim goes the extra mile in support of frontline workers

Jim Bradley celebrates

Sunday was supposed to have been the date for the Belfast City Marathon, but the sporting lockdown didn't deter Garvagh man Jim Bradley from clocking up the miles.

And he did it all in a good cause, one close to home.

The Coronavirus and concerns over social distancing has stopped the sporting calendar, including the popular Belfast event. With thousands of marathon and relay runners racing around the streets, many of them would have been raising much needed funds for a lot of charities.

Everyone understands the need to stop the spread of the infection and why the marathon had to be postponed, but Jim felt it would be a shame to let all his hard training go to waste.

Jim turns 56 in June and runs for Springwell RC and cycles for Carn Wheelers. He has been running for 'three or four' years and has completed the Dublin marathon twice and Belfast once. He has signed up for a third go at Dublin this year and is 'hoping' it goes ahead.

He decided to run a 'social distancing' compliant marathon on Sunday, the day of the planned Belfast marathon. Jim put his efforts to good use by raising funds for the Intensive Care Unit at the Causeway Hospital in Coleraine, where his wife, Nicola has been on the front line as the National Health Service deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

The NHS, and all our essential workers, are the ones who have really gone the extra miles in the current emergency and our nurses have had to try and help patients and their families cope with the communication difficulties posed by hospitals suspending all visiting for families as they isolate patients who are Covid-19 positive.

To try and help patients cope with isolation and stay in contact personally with their loved ones, the ICU in the Causeway Hospital is providing tablets for the patients to communicate with their family and Jim’s efforts on Sunday were in support of this worthy cause.

Complying with all social distancing regulations Jim set out on his solo mission on a very sunny morning and completed the required 26.2 miles of the 'Jim Bradley Garvagh Marathon' in a respectable 4.01.45.

There is a touching video on social media, filmed by Betty Anne O'Kane, of him breaking the tape on his way into Garvagh. Jim and Nicola would like to thank everyone who has supported their fund raising efforts with their cheers and applause, with their messages of support and through their donations.

“I could not have completed it without the support of the Garvagh running group from Springwell,” Jim added.

The initial fundraising target was £1,000 but by the time of publishing, the figure had risen to £4,100.

Also at the weekend, the family business – EJB Cars Garvagh – were giving away a car in a draw to one lucky winner from 59 NHS staff members Coleraine ICU and Altnagelvin Covid Ward 31.

It follows on from their business' April venture of making their courtesy cars available to front line health care workers.

Owner Eamon Bradley told the County Derry Post he wanted to help make things a bit easier for NHS staff.

“With the work the NHS workers are doing for us, I just thought if I can make it a wee bit easier in some way, that would help.

“I wanted people to reach out and someone to avail of it. The cars are sitting there, they’re taxed and there are two or three courtesy cars there and I thought I might as well offer them out.

“Those men and women are going onto what is classed as the front line, to save maybe a relation of mine or anybody.

“I always said that nurses and doctors never got enough appreciation for what they do. I know a lot of NHS staff who are working that hard and coming home to families too. It’s a crazy time.”

Jim has setup a link for donations and you can contribute via:


- Cars offered to healthcare workers.  Click here...

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