Your friends are fundraising. Don't miss out, opt in.

58 %
raised of £2,000 target
by 31 supporters
Aileen Parker avatar
Aileen Parker

parkers page

Fundraising for Northern Ireland Hospice

58 %
raised of £2,000 target
by 31 supporters
  • Team members: Aileen Parker, Kathryn Parker
  • Event: 2010 Barcelona Marathon, 07 Mar 2010

Northern Ireland Hospice

We provide specialist palliative care to people with life-limiting illnesses

Charity Registration No. NIC102337


Hi everyone, thanks for taking the time to visit our JustGiving page!

[Check out the rest of our photos on link below main photo]

Update on 14th March

We have completed our Barcelona Marathon Challenge! 

It is now a week after the marathon and we've recovered. 

We arrived in barcelona early in the morning on saturday, and spent the rest of the day getting ready for the marathon and early start. We visited the 'magic fountain' that evening, which is beside the placa espana where the marathon starts and finishes. 

Despite being in Spain we wanted to have a plate of pasta the evening before the race.. 

We got up at about 6.30 on sunday morning, and had a breakfast of brioche, banana, and energy bar..tasty. 

We were very nervous, especially aileen, who became obsessed with getting hold of safety pins for her bib, right up to crossing the starting line..

There were 10, 500 runners taking part in the race, which started at 8.30am. The sun was shining, but the sky was quite cloudy, good running conditions for us irish! Runners were from all over the world; america, australia, france, ireland, and of course lots of spanish people.  

We were in the slowest running category.. of over 4 hours. (fast for us!) so, after a short prayer between the 2 of us we started the race at 8.38am. 

We'll not go into detail of the next 4 hours, 40minutes that followed.. just a brief summary!

There were highs and lows..

High points

1. crossing the finish line, very emotional! 

2. tasting beautiful spanish oranges given to us at various water points in second half of race

3. running past Sagrada Familia

4. being cheered on by our 2 good friends  suzie and kathryn, 32 km into the race, when we needed it most. 

5. being personally cheered on by barcelona citizens (calling out our names, printed on everyones bibs)

6. passing each km mark.. all 42 of them.. 

Low points

1. running up and down Avenue Diagonal (refer to marathon route for reasons)

2. running beside the Barcelona version of Belfast westlink

3. sore stiff seized up legs during last 5km of race

4. resulting in us being overtaken by a pensioner during the last km of the race.

We finished the race in a very surprising time of 4 hours 40minutes. We were expecting it would take us at least 5 hours.. but the sea of people carried us along.

Afterwards all runners are given complementary physio massage, which was much needed, as leg + back movement was severely impeded.

For the next few days, walking up and down staircases was agony, unfortunately we travelled around the city underground. But the stairs were worth the pain, as the 4 of us had gorgeous tapas, rioja wine, cafe con leche, creme brulee.

On monday it snowed in Barcelona, for 6 hours, for first time in 18 years, according to the locals. Walking along las Ramblas in the snowstorm, it felt like we were in a different city to the day before.

We flew back on tuesday morning, and have been resting ever since!

Its good to have completed our first marathon, and who knows.. we may be out running again some day soon...!

Thanks so much to everyone for your support, it helped us get through the 26 miles.

Hasta luego!

x x

Update on 28th February :

So we are running the Marathon this day next week! We cant believe how quickly time has flown by. 

We are flying to Barcelona on saturday morning, very early flight from Dublin. 2 good friends are coming with us for the trip. Suzie Fallis is flying with us, and Kathryn Lonergan will be flying from Manchester. 

We are staying until Tuesday morning and are hoping to enjoy the city for a few days after the race... if we are still able to walk after the race!

Thanks for all your support, both in donations and your encouragement over the past 3 months. It means a lot to us.

We will keep you posted on how we get on!

Aileen + Kathryn 

x x

Update on 14th February :

Yesterday we went for an 18 mile run, along the coast, starting in Donaghadee, and finishing in Holywood.

It was our longest run to date, and without doubt our hardest.  But it was the most beautiful route we have done so far, and the sun shone the whole time... all 3 and a half hours.

For the next few weeks, we will be doing shorter distances in run-up to marathon, to our relief..

Page began on 21st January:

We had each decided years ago that we would like to run a marathon one day, but had never really seriously thought more about it.

While on a trip to Donegal in October, we decided  Barcelona 2010 would be our aim! We had not considered this meant running in the depths of winter..

The 2 of us have been training lots over the past few months, in all weathers, and temperatures! There have been ups and downs throughout, and there still are, as we try to increase our distances each week.

It will be great to run when the sun is shining, through a beautiful city like Barcelona. Though 26 miles of sight seeing at speed will be a bit tougher than we have ever been used to on holiday..  We are not aiming to break any records, just survive the run. But the race organisers have set a time limit in this marathon of 6 hours..

So, a little bit about who we are doing this marathon for :

We are raising money for Northern Ireland Hospice. It is a local charity caring for over 3,000 adults, children and young people with life-limiting and life threatening conditions, both in hospice and in the community. Also the charity supports families and carers.

For any friends reading this abroad, we hope that you will still be encouraged to support this charity with us.

We have both known someone close to us who has been cared for by the Hospice, and are aware of the vital support they received, and their loved ones.

Kathryn also completed a palliative care course with Northern Ireland Hospice this year, so is even more involved in their work. She has seen the respite and end of life care given to people of all ages, from children right through to the elderly.

The Hospice relies a lot on voluntary donations to fund their services, so we aim to raise as much as possible for them.

Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving – they’ll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they’ll send your money directly to the charity and make sure Gift Aid is reclaimed on every eligible donation by a UK taxpayer. So it’s the most efficient way to donate - We raise more, whilst saving time and cutting costs for the charity.

So please dig deep and donate now!

Thank you from Aileen + Kathryn.


  • crossing finish line!
  • Kathryn crossing line!
  • the 2 of us halfway trhough race +8