We support all runners...

Liam came out to Longstone Special School in October 2015 to deliver a session to our GCSE Occupational Studies students. For part of their coursework our pupils have to plan a leisure event. I had been going to Liam’s Wednesday and Saturday sessions in Ormeau Park for a while and had been very impressed by Liam’s enthusiasm and organisation and so I asked him to come out to Longstone to give our pupils ideas for their coursework. Liam led a fantastic session with our pupils, he kept them engaged and he had planned activities that allowed pupils of all abilities to achieve success during the session. He was able to come down to our pupils level and make them feel confident to have a go at the different activities he had planned. Liam then gave our pupils lots of useful information about how to approach planning their leisure event. A big thank you to Liam, Longstone hope to see you again soon!
— Stephanie McIntyre (Special School Teacher)

I attended a training session with Belfast running whilst I was in Belfast to attend a conference. I contacted Liam who kindly extended an invitation to join the session on the Tuesday night. The session itself was challenging but it was varied and it was fun and I really enjoyed it. If you are visiting Belfast and would like to squeeze in a training session, I would thoroughly recommend that you contact Liam through Belfast running
— Ryan Gunn (Scottish Runner)

Going out for a jog/run or taking part in the local Parkrun sounds pretty straightforward, however, if you are visually impaired it is all but impossible to do safely without assistance. I met Liam via Matt Shields who I met at an initiative, organised by Guide Dogs, to encourage blind people to be more active.

Liam keeps me safe while running, that’s a given, but this is more than a “box-ticking” exercise to both of us, this just isn’t about “taking part” while Liam and Parkrun can pat themselves on the back for helping “the Disabled”. Liam treats me like he does any other runner, encouraging me to get the most from myself, pushing me to my limit in order to get the best time possible. I have the same desire as all the other runners, which is to beat my previous time always striving for improvement.

To-date, I have completed 4 Parkruns reducing my time by 2.5 minutes with a current PB of 24:55. Liam and others like him, aren’t just making it possible for me and others like me, to “take part” in Parkrun, but to get exactly the same from it as fully sighted runners.

Thanks Liam
— Tony McEvoy (partially sighted runner)

Jog Belfast is a fantastic, fun, friendly and free way to get fit in Belfast! The three experienced coaches, including Liam from Belfast Running, vary the sessions between speed and distance work, so if you want to run 5k for the first time or like me just improve your overall fitness then check out Jog Belfast. Get fit and have fun at the Ozone!
— Joanna McArdle (10km runner)

Liam from Belfast Running agreed to go running with me. Having discussed my recent running activity he suggested a route that was just the right amount of stretch beyond my comfort zone. Liam chatted and was subtly but firmly encouraging in the way round
— Emma Cunningham (new runner)

First and foremost I’m not an athlete. I took up running just over a year ago to improve my general fitness and shake off some of the lethargy that comes with sitting at a computer all day. From struggling through Couch to 5K I had built my distance and fitness up to a point where I could regularly get round the local Parkrun in just under 30 minutes.

My fitness and pace had plateaued but I knew there was plenty more left in the tank.

I have known Liam for a number of years and he was always there shouting support and encouragement at me at Parkrun when he had finished his own runs or when he was on volunteer duty. He offered to take me out for some one to one coaching sessions when I told him about wanting to improve my times.

Lunchtimes are my best time for running and Liam met me at my workplace so we could run my usual route together and he could coach me along the way. He kept to a pace I was comfortable with as he talked me though the differences in aerobic and anaerobic exercise, how I could run more efficiently to improve my speed as well as how to vary my training runs. Once up to speed he incorporated some intervals into the run highlighting how I could use environmental markers along the way such as lampposts to help increase my speed. This increased intensity on training is definitely helping me take it more seriously.

The results speak for themselves. Since working with Liam I have broken my Parkrun PB three times taking 1:45 off my time over the last month alone. Even when we haven’t managed to get out together Liam has been texting and tweeting me tips and encouragement along the way.

Thanks a million Liam!
— David Crozier (parkrun & 5kms)

I have just recently moved to Belfast. I enjoy running and was keen to discover new off-road training routes. Liam (Belfast Running) took me on a run with him and showed me a scenic 20km loop around Lagan Tow-Path and through Belvoir Forest. All the time Liam was chatty and friendly whilst making sure the pace was maintained. He provided a great training session and tour. I really enjoyed the run and have been able to follow the route to continue my training runs.
— Marina Campbell (Club Runner)

Earlier in the year I attempted the arduous Belfast Marathon with my younger and physically fitter sister. As previously arranged with Belfast Running, Liam McGarry met both of us at mile 20 to help us with fuelling for those last few killer miles. At this stage I was completely empty of fuel and felt broken. However seeing my old friend at one of the bleakest and uninspiring parts of this particular Marathon route provided me with the motivation I needed, to get me through to the finish line.

Liam was fully equipped with energy bars and essential fluids, which helped my sister and I keep moving. Whilst my sister ran on ahead, Liam cycled alongside me for those last painful 6.2 miles constantly providing me with encouragement and inspiration. Anyone who cycles will likely appreciate just how difficult it is to ride alongside a painfully slow runner in the last stages of a marathon where you are required to manoeuvre through crowds of people walking, hopping and crawling and generally suffering. During those last few miles, Liam kept me focused, fuelled and informed me of how the course would unfold as well as keeping me posted of my average speed and pace and projected finish time. I completed this mammoth task in 4 hours and 44 minutes (17 minutes faster than I had projected) and am certain I wouldn’t have done so without Liam’s efforts. Legend….
— Anya Higgins (Marathon)

Liam is an amazing runner and coach. Throughout the years I have known him I have witnessed him take on huge running challenges from 5k to 100k - Liam is capable of them all. There aren’t too many runners who can make such a range of distances look easy and natural. His passion for running is very evident and he has wide-ranging knowledge about training affectively, gaining speed, resting and routes along with up and coming races.

He has helped me gain speed in my running - he knows I like to be pushed and so he pushes. He inspires me to want to constantly get better, to not give up, to see my own potential. His knowledge and down to earth attitude alongside a friendly outlook and ability to listen to his clients is second to none. I couldn’t recommend him enough
— Lisa Conlan (Occasional 5km)