John’s ultra run challenge

Ultramarathon runner John McManus. INLT 25-625-CON
Ultramarathon runner John McManus. INLT 25-625-CON

Experienced marathon runner John McManus is gearing up for his toughest challenge to raise funds for a children’s hospice and cancer charity.

The 30-year-old Larne Athletic club member will travel to South Africa in June to take on the internationally renowned Comrades Marathon, a 54-mile trek between the cities of Durban and Pietermaritzburg.

John is running the race in support of the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice and Anthony Nolan.

Anthony Nolan is a UK charity that focuses on leukaemia and helps to save the lives of people who need a blood stem cell, bone marrow and cord blood transplant. It manages and recruits donors to the Anthony Nolan Register. It also carries out research to help make bone marrow transplants more effective. For those who fail to respond to chemotherapy, a bone marrow transplant is their last chance of a cure.

John, who joined the register 12 years ago after one of his best friends passed away from leukaemia, says he “hopes to raise awareness of the register, encourage people to join and raise funds so Anthony Nolan can continue to save lives from blood cancer.”

The NI Children’s hospice cares for children and young with very complex needs. There are over 600 life-limited children and young people and their families who need the specialist care that only the Hospice can provide.

John is a regular endurance race competitor – he has run a number of marathons and cycle sportives; and three years ago competed in the Challenge Roth Ironman event in Germany.

John said: “The Comrades is more than a double marathon in length. It is a huge race but I’m really excited about it and hoping to raise as much as possible.”

To donate or to find out more, visit