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04 Oct 2022

Three Derry Councillors join forces to form marathon relay team to raise vital funds

The trio will donate the money raised to the Mayor's charity 

Three Derry Councillors join forces to form marathon relay team to raise vital funds

From left, Alderman Graham Warke (Independent), Councillor Christopher Jackson (Sinn Fein) and Councillor Philip McKinney (Alliance Party) launching their Waterside Half Marathon Relay team

Three local Councillors will put political differences to one side on Sunday September 4 to complete the Waterside Half Marathon relay to raise funds for the Mayor’s Charity.

Christopher Jackson, Philip McKinney and Graham Warke are aiming to raise funds for First Housing Aid and Support Services, the chosen charity of Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Sandra Duffy.

It is the second time Councillors Jackson and McKinney have jointly taken on the 13.1 mile course and they have been joined by relay debutant and former Mayor Alderman Graham Warke for this year’s event.

The trio met at St Columb’s Park running track earlier this week to officially launch their team ‘Chamber Chums’.

“It’s a great opportunity to get out and get active over the next few weeks while raising funds for the Mayor’s Charity,” said Alderman Warke.

“I was overwhelmed by the generosity of the public during my year in office and I would appreciate it if people can access the links on our social media pages to sponsor us for this challenge.”

Councillor McKinney, a member of Eglinton Road Runners, formed the original team in 2019.

Councillor McKinney said: “It was a really successful initiative the first time round when I ran with Christopher and Councillor Mary Durkan and hopefully our participation will encourage others to get out there and experience the benefits running has for the body and mind.”

Councillor Christopher Jackson will run the first five miles and pass the baton to Councillor McKinney who will take on the most challenging part of the course over the Foyle Bridge before Alderman Warke finishes with a four mile run to the finish line at St Columb’s Park.

“It’s great to see the Waterside Half Marathon back,” said Councillor Jackson. “I’m delighted we can get out and take part while raising funds and the profile of First Housing who do critical work in the community in supporting those in housing difficulty.”

Over 2,000 runners are expected at the start line for the 39th staging of the event which is hosted by Derry City and Strabane District Council.

Runners will wind their way from the Ebrington site start, along the banks of the Foyle, crossing both the Foyle Bridge and the Peace Bridge en route to the finish on the St Columbs Park track.

Mayor Duffy will start the race at 9.30am and will be there to welcome runners home at the finish line at St Columb’s Park.

The public can donate to the fundraising effort through the Councillors themselves, at the Council Offices or online at bit.ly/MSDCharity

A limited number of places remain for the Waterside Half Marathon, registration details, race instructions and traffic and travel for the event can be accessed at www.derrystrabane.com/whm.

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