Derry MLA taking up Belfast marathon challenge in aid of ARC charity

Foyle MLA Mark H Durkan has launched a GoFundMe campaign with a goal of £1,500 after announcing that he is taking part in this year’s Belfast marathon.

By Caolan Fleming
Friday, 25th February 2022, 11:20 am

The funds will aid local addiction charity, ARC Fitness (Addiction Recovery Coaching).

Mr Durkan has been vocal in the support of addiction recovery over recent years and says that ARC has been a lifeline for many within the North West.

ARC Fitness provides support for those battling addiction by improving mental and physical wellbeing through physical activity, counselling, and education.

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ARC founder Gary Rutherford (left) and Foyle MLA Mark H Durkan.

Mr Durkan said: “I’ve participated in three marathons before all based in Derry, but it’s been seven years since my last one, so I’ve set myself a challenge to run the Belfast Marathon this year.”

Mr Durkan said that after a tough few years, he wanted to do something to give back to the community and says that it was difficult to choose from a number of local charities to help.

“I approached Gary Rutherford of ARC Fitness having taken part in a few of their events to date. Gary’s bravery in sharing his own battle with addiction, everything he has achieved, and built-in recent years has been hugely inspiring to myself and so many others.

“I joined Gary for a few miles last year as part of his mammoth ‘No Shame Campaign’ which pushed me to set my own fundraiser – although unlike Gary, I think I’ll pass on the weighted vest,” Mr Durkan continued with.

Gary Rutherford of ARC Fitness said: “ARC is delighted that Mark has decided to undertake this physical challenge. It will not only support us financially, but also to help spread the awareness of the negative impact substance abuse causes in our communities.

“Mark has been a keen supporter of our work and the ethos of hope and recovery that we promote. We wish him well in his training and then marathon event. Thank you from everyone in team ARC.”

Donations for the fundraiser can be made at www.gofundme.com/f/belfast-marathon-in-aid-of-arc-fitness.