Stuart’s endurance challenge in aid of Action Hearing Loss

Stuart’s endurance challenge in aid of Action Hearing Loss

2 October 2019

A SAINTFIELD man has raised £420 after taking over 50,000 steps in an epic fundraising challenge in aid of Action on Hearing Loss.

Stuart Smyth joined 5,000 runners taking part in the Belfast Half Marathon and went on to scale Slieve Donard the same day, despite thick fog and heavy rain,.

Stuart, who is member of Saintfield Striders running club, chose the challenge to combine two activities he loves for the charity close to his heart.

He said: “You can’t see hearing loss but it has a profound effect on a person’s life. Hearing loss is increasing and I want to see help being made available for those who need it.”

Stuart developed hearing loss at the age of seven and has worn hearing aids for more than 30 years. 

He admits that as a teenager hearing aids made him feel self-conscious.

“Back then, hearing aids were huge and for a while I tried to get by without them,” he explained. 

“When I reached my twenties I realised I needed to wise up as I was missing out on having conversations and I started wearing two hearing aids. 

“I think wearing hearing aids has become more acceptable. They’re smaller now, you can get them in different colours and there have been lots of improvements with digital technologies.”

Stuart completed the half marathon in two hours six minutes and finished scaling Donard in just four hours. 

Despite the rain, Stuart finished the challenge with a smile on his face, proudly wearing his half marathon medal at the top of Northern Ireland’s highest mountain.

He said: “I must have climbed Donard over 100 times but never after a half marathon. 

“The weather wasn’t great, but it was a fun day and I’m pleased to have raised some money to support people with deafness, tinnitus and hearing loss in Northern Ireland.”

To find out more about Action on Hearing Loss services, visit