Runners go the distance to raise cash for charity

Richard Southin, a 42-year-old teacher from Blyth ran his first ever great North Run in 2hrs 38mins and raised nearly �500 for the RNLI.
Richard Southin, a 42-year-old teacher from Blyth ran his first ever great North Run in 2hrs 38mins and raised nearly �500 for the RNLI.

FUNDRAISERS collected thousands of pounds on Sunday by tackling the Bupa Great North Run from Newcastle to South Shields.

And despite the aches and pains he suffered as a result of completing the 13.1-mile run, one fundraiser has admitted it’s given him the running bug.

Dave Anderson, of Bedlington, signed up for the event to help his friend Neil Douglass raise money for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research after Neil was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia last year.

Speaking after finishing the run in 2hrs 1min, Dave said: “I am delighted to have done the run, and in a decent time too.

“I was also very relieved to overtake the man carrying a fridge on his back.

“More importantly, thanks to the incredible generosity of my family, friends and colleagues, I have so far raised £1,700 for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research, which was the point of signing up for all this pain in the first place.

“Neil’s situation inspired myself and Michael Boyle to get involved, and he has been an inspiration to us when the going got tough.

“Credit to him for pulling out a fantastic time of his own and raising an amazing amount of money.

“I definitely have the Great North Run bug, and being the competitive type, even with myself, I hope to do the event again next year and break through the two-hour mark.”

Michael, of Gateshead, added: “I’m definitely feeling sore. I’m still struggling now, but it was all worth it to raise money for such an important charity.

“I’ll be doing the same again next year, and I’m planning to build on my time of 2hrs 17mins and improve.”

Neil, doing his ninth Great North Run, crossed the line in 2hrs 3mins, taking the amount he has raised for the charity to more than £7,000.

The 32-year-old, of Bedlington, said: “Sunday was really tough, probably the toughest I’ve ever found it.

“It was really warm for the first half of the race and really wet for the second half. There was the usual great atmosphere, and there was a huge sense of achievement getting over the finish line.

Richard Southin, of Blyth, raised £408 for the RNLI by taking part in the annual run for the first time.

The 42-year-old, a history teacher at Northumberland Church of England Academy’s Josephine Butler Campus in Ashington, is a keen surfer and wanted to raise the funds for the RNLI in case one day he needs its help.

Brendan Foster, chairman of event organiser Nova International, said: “We have enjoyed another fantastic Great North Run weekend.

“The athletes and fun-runners and, of course, the Red Arrows have helped to make this the most inspiring run ever.”