A Lisburn toddler’s first foray into fundraising fell foul of the roads at the weekend and his disappointed mum is hoping to run out her own alternative event.
Two-year-old Liam ‘little guy’ Moran was ready for the off as he and his family set out on Saturday for Belfast and the 5K Colour Run Challenge, an untimed race in which paricipants are doused in different colours at each kilometre along the way.
With help from mum Carlie and a social media campaign, Liam - whose family had high hopes he would walk the 5k course by himself - was raising cash for Save the Children and had managed to reach his initial £100 target within 100 hours.
However, come the day, disaster struck.
“There was a collision on the motorway which closed the outside lane and meant that the 15-minute trip from Lisburn actually took the best part of three hours,” said Carlie.
“This meant that ourselves and many, many others were not able to participate as they could not keep the start chute open because part of the course involved public roads that needed to be reopened. There were lots and lots of disappointed people.
“We were absolutely gutted. I can honestly say I can’t remember the last time I’ve been so disappointed and I feel absolutely terrible for all of the people who have donated and supported Liam; he raised £300 in the end.
“ I also feel terrible for Liam because I think he would have loved it and I’ve been saving all of his clippings and the social media posts that have been shared about him so that he could look back on it in the future and feel really proud of himself
“Now we will have to tell him that after all that he wasn’t able to walk a single step of it.” That said, Carlie is now trying hard to salvage something from the situation by herself arranging a 5k event for all those who didn’t get to participate on the day “and other little guys that might want to try a toddle”.
With a pledge of help from Save the Children and some useful advice on permission, insurance and so on from the forester in charge at Hillsborough Forest Park, Carlie is busy hatching plans.
“It’s a bit of a minefield, as I’ve never organised anything like this before,” she said, “but I’m really hopeful we will be able to pull something out of the bag.
“It would be nice to have the run and perhaps a bit of a family fun event afterwards.
“There’s lots to consider and I am currently working a wee bit blind but I’m feeling motivated, so, fingers-crossed, I can put something together.”