50 mile challenge complete for Sperrin Harriers’ Mark Reid

On a cool and crisp Saturday morning, Mark Reid left his Cookstown home to set out on a breathtaking 50 mile charity run.

Mark is a seasoned runner, having previously completed a 40 mile charity run, as well as a number of marathons. He is also the coach of Sperrin Harriers. However, it goes without saying that this was his greatest challenge to date. His run took him around Cookstown and through the grounds of Lissan House, with each lap starting and finishing at his house, where he was fervently supported by his wife, Karen.

Last year, amidst the pandemic, Mark faced a difficult period in his life, brought about by mental health issues, namely depression. Mark has described how he had no real interest in doing anything, and this included running. It was only after a prolonged period that he finally put his running shoes back on after encouragement from two of his running buddies, Tanya Quinn and Paula Glasgow from Sperrin Harriers.

The Hub BT80 helped Mark through this difficult time providing vital services and support. As such, the funds raised through the event are in aid of the counselling services at the Hub BT80. Mark urges anyone who is struggling with their mental health to seek help and adds that no one has to go through it alone.

Carol Doey, of the Hub BT80 commented on Mark’s achievement saying “I haven’t adequate words to express my gratitude at such a remarkable achievement. Mark openly tells of his ‘dark place’ and how he reached out for help. Because of his openness others have asked for help.” Carol calls on anyone who needs help to be brave and take the first step by getting help.

Speaking after the event, Mark said, “At around 34 miles, I was starting to struggle a little bit. I couldn’t have done it without the support from members of Sperrin Harriers, the Running Bears, as well as the general public, and of course my wife and family. I was doing this as a fundraiser after I turned 50 last year, but also in memory of my late father, Stanley. I know he was definitely looking after me.”

Confirming this was the hardest run he has ever done, he added, “The camaraderie and craic was what carried me to the finish line on the day. I am proud to have completed it and would like to thank everyone who has supported me and made a donation.”

To date, Mark has raised over £1600. Donations can still be made to his Go Fund Me page.