A BANGOR man is preparing to pound the streets of Belfast for his second run of the Belfast marathon, in aid of the Air Ambulance Service.
Mike Patton, a paramedic with the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS), is running in the Mash Direct Belfast City Marathon for the second time, this year alongside Cool FM DJ Paulo Ross, co-host of the station’s Breakfast Show, and other local supporters.
This year’s running event takes place on April 30, because the usual early Bank Holiday May slot clashes with the King’s coronation weekend.
Mike has worked for HEMS since its inception in 2017 and has always been an avid supporter of the Air Ambulance NI charity which works with the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) to provide HEMS for the region.
The Bangor medic took part in the marathon relay race in 2019, standing out in his full flight suit to raise awareness and funds for the vital service which requires fundraising of over £5,500 every day to remain operational.
This time, he and his team will don red running vests in support of the charity which aims to save lives. The five team members are coming together from all over the province to represent #TeamAirAmbulanceNI.
Mike and Paulo will be joined by HEMS administrator Lukasz Karpinski from east Belfast; Alex McKinley, sister of former HEMS patient Kyra McKinley, from Omagh, and John McMullan, father of the first HEMS patient, Connor McMullan, from Castlewellan.
“We are tasked on average twice per day,” Mike revealed.
“The main aim of the service is to deliver time critical interventions to patients on scene anywhere in NI. The team can deliver pre-hospital emergency anaesthesia, administer pre-hospital blood products and provide advanced pain relief for our patients.
“Fundraising is necessary to keep our aircraft flying; it is never lost on us that we couldn’t do our job without the generosity of the public. This is why we have decided to take part in the Mash Direct Belfast City Marathon, and we really hope the public will get behind us to support our fundraising challenge,” he added.
Mike’s team will be joined by approximately 800 other runners representing the Air Ambulance charity which operates 12 hours per day, seven days a week.
Anyone who would like to register for the event’s eight-mile walk, team relay, half marathon or full marathon can do so at