posted on January 13th, 2022

Carrickfergus mum takes on charity run to mark 10th anniversary of heart attack

Julie McCallister will be taking part in her fifth Red Dress Run this February along with her family

Julie McAllister, 49 from Carrickfergus, is marking an unusual anniversary this year, but an extremely important one – the ten-year anniversary since she survived a major heart attack, aged just 39. Coming out the other side, she learned the true importance of looking after your heart health.

This year, Julie will be marking the special occasion by taking part in Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke’s Red Dress Fun Run 2022, supported by MACE. This will be her fifth time taking on the five kilometre run or walk event which aims to raise funds and awareness for heart disease.

The event went virtual last year due to COVID-19 restrictions, with hundreds of participants taking part in their local area across Northern Ireland and raising a staggering £50,000 to combat heart disease. This year, the event returns to its home venue of Stormont Estate, however the virtual element remains, with the charity encouraging participants who can’t make it to the main event to complete 5K their way during the month of February.

Graham with wife Kerry and daughter Eva.

NICHS ambassador and firefighter Graham Ross from Whitehead will also be taking part running in memory of his father, Cameron. Graham always brings the fun to the event and loves, in his words, “dressing up like an eejit and doing silly things if it helps raise awareness and funds for our local heart charity.” In 2021 Graham ran his 5K dressed as DC Comic hero The Flash as part of the virtual event, but who will he be stepping out as in February 2022? Watch this space!

Come along and run, walk, dance, skip or wheel 5K (just do it your way) at Stormont Estate, Belfast on Sunday 27 February 2022 at 11am Sign up at You can also follow the fun at #REDDRESSFUNRUN.

The charity is also inviting primary school pupils to have a laugh while they raise some cash for heart illness by hosting their own fun run anytime this February. Each school that takes part will receive a certificate of thanks to show how much they raised and there are some fantastic prizes up for grabs too. Find out more at