Co Tyrone sheep farmer Kenny Little is taking on a triple marathon challenge in 2019 to raise much-needed funds for three charities.
Many of us start the year with a resolution to try and exercise regularly and the more adventurous amongst us might indeed take on a marathon. However, to try and tackle three in a year takes some doing.
And that’s before you take into consideration Kenny Little’s chosen attire for the races. Think runner, and it immediately conjures up images of Mo Farah or perhaps Paula Radcliffe decked out in the latest trainers, light-weight vest and shorts.
But Kenny is planning to put his best foot forward and run marathons in Belfast, Dublin and Edinburgh wearing a boiler suit and yellow wellie boots.
Kenny, from Aughnacloy, is no stranger to running, having completed the Belfast marathon last year. And this time around he is using the chance to raise money for three charities that are very close to him as extra motivation.
He explained: “There are three charities that are particularly close to my heart so the money I raise will be divided between the charities equally.
“The first charity is Parkinson’s UK because my father has been told he has the early stages of the illness. Parkinson’s UK provide information and support to those affected by Parkinson’s Disease.
“The second is called ‘Harry’s Mates’. ‘Harry’s mates’ is a social club for adults with learning disabilities based in Ballynahinch, which offers activities as well as a Befriending Service. My brother set up the charity in honour of our uncle who has special needs to help people in more rural areas to socialise and make friends.
“The third charity I have chosen is ‘Yellow Wellies’ (The Farm Safety Foundation). They have developed unique farm safety training and is delivered in colleges, universities and Young Farmers’ Clubs which is being rolled out in Northern Ireland this year by YFCU.
“Through national campaigns such as Farm Safety Week, Yellow Wellies and Mind Your Head, the Farm Safety Foundation is constantly tackling the stigma around risk-taking and poor mental health, ensuring that next generation of farmers is resilient and equipped with smart strategies and specific skills to live well and farm well.
“A dear friend of mine, Walter Elliott OBE, died back in March last year. He was passionate about farming and was a former president of the Ulster Farmers’ Union which is why this charity is so important to me to support the health and wellbeing of the farming community.”
Kenny is very much aware of the challenge that lies ahead but is excited by what he can achieve for his three chosen charities.
He added: “I am not wise, but they are all good causes. I will be promoting all sponsors during the marathons by having their logos embroidered into my boiler suit. In a bid to raise as much money as I can for the charities, I will be holding a few fundraising events throughout the year, including a barbecue and auction.”
If you would like to donate, support Kenny or get involved, please contact him on 07517713405 or via Facebook.