Ian ‘The Gas Man’ Moore takes on 53 mile Loop The Lough Ultra

Saintfield man, Ian ’The Gas Man’ Moore (pictured with his biggest supporters, son Micah aged 5 and daughter Phoebe, aged 7) is taking on the Loop the Lough Ultra challenge and running 53 miles to raise funds and awareness for Friends of the Cancer Centre. The challenge will see Ian running along roads around the edges of Strangford Lough, from Strangford to Portaferry on Saturday 19th June and aiming to complete his run in under 12 hours.

Ian first got involved with Friends of the Cancer Centre in 2018, running the Belfast City Marathon in memory of his friend’s wife. His love for running started much earlier, in 2002 when his own mother passed away. Running his first marathon in 2008, Ian has now completed the Belfast City Marathon five times as well as taking on lots of other running challenges.

Explaining why he is now taking on the Loop the Lough Ultra challenge, Ian said:

“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. 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.”

“I really enjoy running, so I thought, why not do what I love and try to raise some money at the same 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 comradery as we complete the course.

“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 5 hours. 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 19th June, with the end goal of finishing in Portaferry before 9pm and pace myself, I’ll be able to complete the challenge.

“Already, the local community have been so supportive and donated over £1,000 to Friends of the Cancer Centre and I’d like to thank everyone for their generosity. Ultimately, it’s thanks to their support that together we can help Friends of the Cancer Centre make a difference to local people and their families affected by cancer.”

Head of Fundraising for Friends of the Cancer Centre, Ana Wilkinson, said:

“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. 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.”

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 our work, please give us a call on 028 9069 9393 or visit www.friendsofthecancercentre.com

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