Not many runners in the Mid Ulster area have made such an impressionable impact on the local running scene as Sperrin Harrier’s Mark Reid.
In recent years he is perhaps best known for coaching the Harriers and as the Race Director for the award winning Stanley Reid Memorial 5 Mile Classic. In addition, the resilient Cookstown man has coached several successful Coach to 5k programmes for the MId Ulster District Council.
However, it is his upcoming challenge that is grabbing the headlines. Mark is planning to run a staggering 50 miles on Saturday 10th April. This will take the shape of a 9.2 mile loop around Cookstown completed five and a half times. Mark said, “There’s a number of reasons behind the 50 mile distance. Firstly, I turned 50 last year, and wanted to do the challenge then, but I had to postpone due to COVID and my own personal reasons. But after having completed a 40 mile challenge for my 40th birthday, I am determined to do the 50 mile distance.”
Mark is completing this challenge as a Fundraiser for The Hub BT80. The Hub BT80 is an all-inclusive space which promotes self-care through mental health well-being workshops. For Mark, this is an organisation that has helped him personally. Mark has described how last year he suffered from depression. Recognising that he was in a bad place, he contacted the Hub who offered him the support he needed.
Ahead of the challenge, Mark said that he is back enjoying life and running again, but urges anyone who needs support for their mental health, particularly in COVID times to ask for help. Mark also paid tribute to his late father, Stanley, a founding member of the Cookstown Harriers, which later became Sperrin Harriers, saying,
“My father is a huge inspiration for this challenge. He was well known for his running and his fundraising efforts. The day of the challenge is two days before what would have been his 86th birthday.”
Mark also thanked the members of Sperrin Harriers who encouraged him to start up running again after his mental health issues last year.
Anyone who would like to support Mark can donate through his Go Fund Me page.