Farmer and estate agent Libby lines up to take on part of a marathon challenge for Air Ambulance NI

As a farmer and estate agent from rural Magheralin in County Down, Libby Clarke loves nothing more than looking after her cattle and helping people find their dream home.
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However, Libby is preparing to swap her wellington boots for trainers after setting her sights on a unique challenge all in aid of the Air Ambulance NI charity.

Coming from a rural farming background, Libby understands the crucial need for pre-hospital critical care when the worst happens, hence her support for Air Ambulance NI as part of their agribusiness group.

And, when the charity was nominated sole beneficiary for the Mash Direct Belfast City Marathon this April, Libby was keen to help!

Libby Clarke.Libby Clarke.
Libby Clarke.

“For a farmer, ‘marathon’ and ‘Belfast’ are two words that aren’t used too frequently, but it seemed like the ideal event to push myself out of my comfort zone and raise vital monies for the Air Ambulance NI,” Libby explained.

“The medical team are needed by someone on average twice every single day and £5,500 is needed daily to keep the service going.

“It’s good to play my part and I am really encouraging my network to get involved.

“Already many have signed up, including members of the NI Commercial Cattle Exhibitors Club who jumped onboard as soon as details were released.”

The challenge Libby has set herself is a tough one as she has just had a hip replacement following injuries received on her farm several years ago.

Libby said: “I was attacked on my farm almost nine years ago and knew early on that there would be repercussions down the line due to severity of the injuries received at that time.

“However, this just means that I must push myself harder to get training in before the Marathon in April!

“I’m really touched that even at this early stage, friends and family are digging deep for the cause.”

Kerry Anderson from the charity added: “We are so touched that, following hip replacement, Libby is taking on part of the marathon.

“This year’s event has an eight-mile walk, team relay and the full 26.2 miles, so there is something for everyone and now is a great time to sign up to help New Year focus.”

The 2023 Mash Direct Belfast City Marathon will be held on Sunday 30 April starting at Stormont Estate and finishing in Ormeau Park.

The Mash Direct Belfast City Marathon is one of the leading marathons in the UK and Ireland and is an AIMS certified race.

The Belfast event is renowned for the incredible local support and crowds to cheer you on throughout your 26.2 miles!

The 2023 Marathon route runs through all four areas of Belfast; North, South, East and West.

The Walk Event, which covers eight miles, was introduced in 1997 following public demand and is non-competitive, designed for ramblers and hikers.

It follows a similar route as the main Marathon Run and Wheelchair Race and the Team Relay Event.

Whether you are part of a walking club or want to set a realistic health and fitness goal for 2023, the buzz of race day and being part of the biggest mass sport participatory event in Northern Ireland is an opportunity you don’t want to miss!

The Team Relay Event, meanwhile, is very popular, with around 2,400 teams and 12,000 competitors taking part in 2019.

This event is perfect if you are exploring an interest in running as there are ‘legs’ of the marathon route ranging from four miles to 6.9 miles.

As the name suggests, this is very much a ‘team’ based event rather than competitive.

If you would like to join Libby, and the other competitors taking part in this year’s Mash Direct Belfast City Marathon, you can sign up now at where you can choose to support Air Ambulance NI to help the charity save lives, brains and limbs.

Air Ambulance NI works in partnership with the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service, to provide the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) for the region.

The charity’s operational helicopter carries a crew compiling pilot, doctor, and paramedic, 365 days of the year operating for 12 hours every day.

For more information about Air Ambulance NI visit