Longest challenge faces PE teacher

Jonathan Stoddart (left), Lady Elsie and James Redpath.
Jonathan Stoddart (left), Lady Elsie and James Redpath.

An Ashington teacher is gearing up for an ultra challenge which will be the longest run of his life.

James Redpath, a PE teacher, at Ashington High School, will be joined by friend Jonathan Stoddart in The Wall, a 69-mile ‘ultra run’ to raise funds for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

The pair – who play together at Whitley Bay and Tynemouth Hockey Club – will be taking part in the event on June 21, the longest day of the year.

James, from Gosforth, said: “This is way further than either of us has run before.

“It was Jonathan’s idea but to be honest, I agreed to do it before I really knew what was involved. It’s probably just as well I didn’t, or I’d never have said yes.

“It’s going to be hard but we’ve trained well and feel like we can do this. We’re raising money for an amazing charity and that will motivate us when it gets really tough.”

Jonathan, a clinical trials officer in the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre at the Northern Centre for Cancer Care, added: “I’m privileged to be in a position to see the work the Foundation helps fund every day.

“It means a lot to me to be raising money for the charity and it will be in my mind as I run.

“I am a bit nervous but feel good and ready to go. We’re aiming to finish in 15 hours and we’d be really chuffed if we could manage that.”

The Wall is an on and off-road ultra-run through Hadrian’s Wall country, starting at Carlisle Castle and finishing at Baltic Square, Gateshead.

Participants can attempt the challenge as one single 69 mile stage or over two days.

On behalf of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, Lady Elsie said: “It was a great pleasure to meet Jonathan and James recently to find out more about this challenge. They’re both lovely young men and so committed to raising money for our charity.

“It’s certainly a very long run but they talked me through their training and it sounds like they’re very well-prepared.

“I hope they have a safe and enjoyable day and our thanks to everyone who is supporting their efforts.”

To sponsor Jonathan and James, visit www.justgiving.com/Jon-Jam

Sir Bobby launched the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation in 2008 to help find more effective ways to detect and treat cancer – including the clinical trials of new drugs.

It funds projects that directly benefit patients from across the north east and Cumbria and which contribute significantly to international efforts and research into fighting cancer.