We Are Randox | The Marvellous Monoclonals and The Incredible Immunoglobulins go head-to-head in the Belfast City Marathon in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society

Home - We Are Randox | The Marvellous Monoclonals and The Incredible Immunoglobulins go head-to-head in the Belfast City Marathon in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society

Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier.

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

Liverpool and Everton.

Sport has produced some of history’s greatest rivalries.

But none of them will compare to Monday 1st May 2017 when Randox rivals The Marvellous Monoclonals, and The Incredible Immunoglobins go head-to-head during the much-anticipated, 42km-long Belfast City Marathon, to raise funds for The Alzheimer’s Society.

We chatted to the two team captains ahead of the big race to hear what they think about their chances of victory.

Suzanne Smillie, Team Captain, The Incredible Immunoglobins

What made you decide to pull together a team to run The Belfast Marathon?

Suzanne: We all work in the Biotechnology department but across three separate teams – Monoclonal Development, Monoclonal Production and the Polyclonal team.  So although we all work in the same division of the company we don’t all necessarily know each other. So I thought teaming up to do the Belfast Marathon together would be good way to get to know each other, to put some faces to names and to do a bit of team building.

Who’s in your team?

Suzanne: In my team I have myself, Fintan Geoghegan, Ciaran Orchin, Ashleigh McKinstry and Rebecca Molloy.

How did you decide which leg of the race each runner is going to do?

Suzanne: It was a bit of a negotiation really, just trying to figure out who wanted to do what!  I have actually run in the Belfast Marathon relay event before so I was happy to let those who hadn’t done it before pick first.

What training have you been doing in preparation for the race?

Suzanne: We each started at different stages and have each had a different experience during our training. Rebecca in my team had never run before at all but has really taken an interest in the past month.  I think she has a pretty addictive personality – she told me that she is now running 3 times a week with her boyfriend!  She must be enjoying it because she told me that she thinks she’s going to keep it up even after we complete the marathon.

Do any of you have any previous running or marathon experience?

Suzanne: Some of the boys do a bit of running in their spare time, and Ciaran is really sporty.  He plays GAA and is definitely the most athletic out of all of us. Chloe on Katie’s team also plays a lot of hockey.

What do you think will be the biggest challenge you will be faced with on Monday?

Suzanne: There’s rain and potential snow forecast for Monday! Rebecca says she’d rather have a bit of refreshing rain than too much heat but I’m just worried about having the wind beating against my face!  From running the marathon before I know that it’s really difficult to run against the wind.

Who is your team’s fastest runner?

Suzanne: Ciaran will be the fastest!

Who is the most competitive runner?

Suzanne: Without a doubt Fintan is the most competitive runner.  He’s running against Michael in the other team and they are good friends, working in the same lab, so they’ll be quite competitive running directly against each other.

Ashleigh and Mark will also be quite competitive when they run against each other in the last leg, the glory leg.  On Facebook Ashleigh wrote “Eat my dust!” to him!

Has there been anyone not pulling their weight and needs to up their training over the weekend?

Suzanne: I’m going to up my fundraising game over the weekend by hosting a fundraiser on Sunday night with my choir!

What makes you think you’re going to win?

Suzanne: We’re a shorter team so we’re more aerodynamic.

Have you been keeping track of the other team’s training regimes and progress?

Suzanne: Rebecca has been nominated as my official team spy and I have sent her out in her car to follow the other team when they’re running.

I myself have a very particular set of skills. I’m a champion Facebook creeper and have been following the other team’s updates and statuses to make sure they aren’t sneaking in a cheeky set of press-ups in the tearoom on their lunch breaks.

Any hiccups along the way?

Suzanne: Ciaran had a hamstring injury and Maeve got a clicky hip but thankfully nobody has suffered anything too serious!

What are you most looking forward to about the race?

Suzanne: Having done the marathon before I know that being there is just the most incredible experience.  The feeling of being part of something bigger than you is a wonderful feeling and it’s truly special to be one of the thousands of people who come together to do something for other people less fortunate than us.

Regardless of the weather we’ll know that we’re doing something for the benefit of others and that’s a great feeling.

Anyone you think might be a sore loser?

Suzanne: Fintan! We’re all in agreement on that one.  Possibly Ashleigh as well if Mark beats her during the last leg.

Any forfeits for the losing team?

Suzanne: Rebecca had a good idea that we could get the other team to calibrate our pipettes for a month if we win. Or that they have to take out our clinical waste for us.

But eventually we landed on them making us our lunch every day for a month.

Katie Lawther, Team Captain, The Marvellous Monoclonals

How did you pick who was going to be in your team?

Katie: It was a totally random draw! We put names in a hat and just made sure that the teams were equally weighted with two men and three women in each.

Who’s in your team?

Katie: There’s Maeve McAllister, Michael Thompson, Chloe Carlin, Mark Spence and myself.

How did you decide which leg of the race each runner is going to do?

Katie: Some people knew which leg they wanted to run and others didn’t mind.  In my team specifically, Maeve had taken part in the relay before and had run the first leg, so she wanted to do it again because she had enjoyed it the last time.  She enjoys being at the starting line!

How did you decide which charity to run for?

Katie: I asked everyone if they had any particular charities they were passionate about, because I’m very passionate about The Alzheimer’s Society myself.  My Granny, who helped to raise me alongside my mum, was diagnosed with it when I was younger and so I ended up helping to care for her with my mum and sister.

When I told people that I’d like us to run in aid of The Alzheimer’s Society it turned out that other people had personal experiences with it too.  Maeve’s friend’s father passed away from Alzheimer’s when was he quite young and so she likes to fundraise for it when she can.

I think everyone has been affected by it in some form or another so we were all in agreement that it was the charity to go for.

We’re also actively involved in research and development into Alzheimer’s disease here in the Randox Biotechnology team so it just felt like the perfect fit.

What training have you been doing in preparation for the race?

Katie: We’ve each trained according to our own needs and schedules.  Michael in my team has been training for months because he wouldn’t be a natural runner yet he has one of the longest legs of the race.  Personally I’ve been swimming a couple of times a week to improve my fitness.

Do you think your teamwork in the lab will help you work as a team during the marathon?

Katie: Maeve and I are best friends in work so I’m really going to enjoy the moment Maeve passes the baton over to me.  When I see her coming I’m going to be cheering her on!

Do any of you have any previous running or marathon experience?

Katie: Ciaran is the sportiest out of all of us but unfortunately he’s on the other team! I imagine he will be Suzanne’s secret weapon…

Who is your team’s fastest runner?

Katie: Definitely Maeve! She’s going to do it for the girls.

Who is the most competitive runner?

Katie: In my team Mark is pretty competitive, and certainly has been with regards to fundraising. He’s on Facebook every single night promoting our team and bringing in the donations. He wants to have raised the most money!

Has there been anyone not pulling their weight and therefore needs to up their training over the weekend?

Katie: Maeve and I are going to have one final push on our training over the weekend.  Between the two of us we make up the Organising Committee for the teams and so we’ve spent quite a lot of time fussing and arranging rather than training!

What makes you think you’re going to win?

Katie: Suzanne seems to think our team is taller than hers and we are therefore less aerodynamic. Personally it’s the first time I’ve ever been called tall so I’ll take it!

Our long giraffe-like limbs will help us win.

Any sabotage going on?

Katie: Ciaran brought in a 5KG bag of M&Ms a few days ago and strategically left them on the desk I share with Maeve. He’s been trying to fatten us up!

Maeve naively thought that he was trying to give us a nice energy boost but I saw the sabotage for what it really was.

What are you most looking forward to about the race?

Katie: I know I speak on behalf of everyone in my team when I say that we’re all looking forward to meeting up at the finishing line, watching Mark and Ashleigh finish the final leg, cheering them on and finishing the marathon together as a team.

I’m also looking forward to seeing our fundraising total after all the hard work we’ve done.  We’ll do an official handover to the Alzheimer’s Society with the help of the Randox Internal Communications team.

It will be such a special moment handing over our well-earned funds to such a worthwhile cause.

Any forfeits for the losing team?

Katie: We want to do a lab swap like when Monica and Rachel swap apartments with Joey and Chandler!

Any celebration plans for when the race is over?

Katie: We’re all going to go to Cutter’s Wharf for a celebratory meal together. We’re all very much looking forward to it.

Our two marathon teams will join 17,500 runners taking part in the race on Bank Holiday Monday and will together be raising funds for the very worthy Alzheimer’s society, the only UK charity investing in research into dementia care, cause, cure and prevention.

In 2015/16, for every £1 received by The Alzheimer’s Society, 89p was directly spent on improving the lives of people with dementia. The other 11p goes towards generating future income.

We’re very proud that our marathon runners are taking on this incredible challenge in the name of such an amazing charity and wish them all the very best.

It doesn’t matter who finishes first in the race, you are all winners in our eyes! Good luck!

To donate to our Marathon Teams’ fundraising efforts please click the link below to visit their Just Giving Fundraising page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/TheMarvellousMonoclonalsandTheIncredibleImmunoglobulins

For more information about fundraising at Randox please contact randoxpr@randox.com

Our Marathon Runners left to right are: Fintan Geoghegan, Katie Lawther, Maeve McAllister, Ciaran Orchin, Chloe Carlin, Suzanne Smillie, Michael Thompson, Ashleigh McKinstry, Mark Spence and Rebecca Molloy

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