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Kenny Paces Himself for Marathon

15 June 2021

Veteran Coalisland runner Kenny Holdsworth has been nominated as a pacer for this year’s Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon on Sunday, September 19.

Kenny Paces Himself for Marathon

Kenny has been an avid supporter of Cancer Focus Northern Ireland, the marathon’s official charity, and has raised a staggering £33,000 from his many challenges.  

Now he is urging other runners to sign up for this autumn’s marathon event in Belfast and raise much-needed cash for the charity. The money will support their fantastic work with cancer patients and their families across Northern Ireland and help fund pioneering research projects. Kenny also says running gives a great boost to your physical and mental wellbeing.

Kenny has completed many marathons and last year, during lockdown, he raised almost £6,000 for Cancer Focus NI with a 107-mile run around his neighbourhood. He completed the equivalent of over four marathons in 19 hours and 27 minutes.

The Abbott Marathon Majors runner decided to raise funds for Cancer Focus NI after his mum Kathleen died in 2009 from the disease. His dad Jim, who had suffered from the lung disease COPD, also died just weeks after Kathleen.

 “I like to challenge myself regularly. Running has become a massive part of my life in recent years, and I thoroughly enjoy all aspects of it. I’m delighted to be a pacer for the Belfast marathon this year, especially as it is supporting Cancer Focus NI,” Kenny said. 

“In 2009 both my parents passed away three weeks apart and, although they had both been ill for some time, it was still a massive shock. For so long I had no interest in anything and was just going through the motions of daily life.   

“Fast forward to July 2010 when my nephew asked me if I fancied running the Dublin marathon with him that October. I hadn’t done any running in almost 20 years. I agreed to go training with him and ran three miles - I thought I was about to die,” he laughed.  

“I went out again and the rest is history, I got the bug, and I was running even better than I had in my younger days. Running was my escape, it cleared my head and seriously benefitted my mental health.”  

If you’d like to pick up your pace and run with Kenny for Cancer Focus NI, sign up to The Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon today.