A running enthusiast who lost nine stone has urged others to take up the sport too.
Margaret Wright, a 52-year-old Glasgow midwife, had travelled to Belfast to support her husband Alastair who was running the full Belfast marathon.
“I took up running four years ago,” said Mrs Wright.
“I ran my fourth marathon last week in London. I’ve lost nine stone – that’s what motivates me to keep going. I was 21.5 stone... I couldn’t see myself not running now.”
She and her husband are Christians, and they were raising a couple of hundred pounds for Christian Aid via yesterday’s event.
Asked what her advice was to other prospective runners, she said: “It’s a great life, it’s a lot better than sitting on that couch. It doesn’t take that much to get up and get started. I did it – you can do it!”
Among some of those competing in the Belfast Marathon were five disabled wheelchair-users – the fastest of whom finished the marathon course in roughly one hour, 54 minutes.
Patrick Monaghan, 29 and from Co Kildare, who was the victim of a car crash in 2007, said he would have finished sooner if he had not taken a wrong turning.
He said it was probably the London Olympics that spurred his interest in competing, adding: “I used to do it with legs when I was able-bodied. I’d say it could be harder to run a marathon. It’s kind of like cycling – you can coast along for a few seconds. Obviously, hills are a killer.”
Karol Doherty, a 35-year-old from Inishowen, was also among those competing in the wheelchair marathon – for the sixth time.
“I cannot explain the pain that you go through,” he said.
“You’d need to be out there to know yourself!”