Ian to take on Look the Lough Ultra Challenge

Ian to take on Look the Lough Ultra Challenge

9 June 2021

A SAINTFIELD man is gearing up to tackle his latest charity run.

Ian ‘The Gas Man’ Moore will be taking part in the Loop the Lough Ultra challenge to raise funds and awareness for the Friends of the Cancer Centre on Saturday, June 19.

The father-of-two aims to run 53 miles on roads around the edges of Strangford Lough, from Strangford to Portaferry, in under 12 hours.

Ian has been raised money for the Friends of the Cancer Centre since 2018.

He raised just over £2,700 last September by completing an endurance run, covering just over four miles every hour and doing the equivalent of two marathons in under 13 hours.

His love of running started much earlier, in 2002, when his mother passed away. 

He only completed his first marathon in 2008 and has since completed the Belfast City Marathon five times, as well as taking on lots of other running challenges.

Ian explained that he supports cancer charities due to the loss of people he cared about to cancer.

“I decided to do the Loop the Lough Ultra marathon challenge as I wanted to do something big to challenge myself and at the same time, to give back to families in my local community,” he said.

“I have first-hand experience of losing my mum and a dear friend to cancer. They are never far from my thoughts, but especially at this time of year. 

“I want to do all I can to keep their memories alive while raising money to support people who are facing the daily challenges that a cancer diagnosis can bring, right now.”

He realises he is taking on a major challenge this time.

“This challenge, compared to other distance runs I have completed, will be a huge test of mind over matter as I have never run this distance before.

“Fifty three miles is equivalent to running over two marathons back to back, but I’ll not be alone as there are over 45 people registered to take part and although we’ll all adhere to social distancing, there will still be a sense of camaraderie as we complete the course.”

With already £630 raised due to donations from the local community, Ian said that his preparation for the event has been ramped up.

“Although I’ve never completed an ultra marathon before, my training has been going well. I completed a 29 mile run last weekend from Saintfield to Bangor in around five hours,” said the Saintfield Striders member.

“I was joined for the finishing leg of that run, by my good friend Neil and that really spurred me on and gave me the boost I needed to finish strong. 

“It also reminded me how much of running comes down to your mindset and I know that if I set off from Strangford at 9am on Saturday June 19, with the end goal of finishing in Portaferry before 9pm and pace myself, I’ll be able to complete the challenge.”

Ana Wilkinson, head of fundraising for Friends of the Cancer Centre, praised Ian for his efforts.

“It is only thanks to people like Ian, and everyone who sponsors him, that Friends of the Cancer Centre has been able to support local families for over 35 years,” she said.

“This generosity of spirit has meant that the charity has been able to continue its support throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and we’re hopeful that fundraising will increase again this year, to enable us to expand our support further. 

“The money raised by Ian taking part in the Loop the Lough Ultra challenge will make a huge difference to the lives of patients and their families right across Northern Ireland.”  

For 35 years, Friends of the Cancer Centre has been dedicated to making a real and meaningful difference to cancer patients and their families across Northern Ireland.  

The charity works to enhance the quality of patient care and support through its life-changing and life-saving work which includes funding additional nurses, supporting local research and providing practical support, such as financial grants, which can help patients through a difficult time.  

Friends of the Cancer Centre relies entirely on the generosity of the local community and all money donated stays in Northern Ireland, directly benefitting patients and their families.

You can follow Ian’s journey on Facebook at @ianmooregasman and sponsor him at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ian-moore53. 

If you would like to get involved and support local people affected by cancer by taking on a challenge or holding an event for Friends of the Cancer Centre, please contact the charity on 028 9069 9393 or visit www.friendsofthecancercentre.com.