Family group of eight tackles Great North Run as tribute

From left, Sarah Clark, Holly Friesner, Barbara Clark, David Friesner, Andrea Carr-MacDonald, Ali Carr, Alex Carr and Joy Friesner.
From left, Sarah Clark, Holly Friesner, Barbara Clark, David Friesner, Andrea Carr-MacDonald, Ali Carr, Alex Carr and Joy Friesner.

Eight members of the same family tackled the Great North Run last weekend in memory of one of their own, who had lived in Wooler.

Together with seven family members, whose ages ranged from 27 to 63, David Friesner ran the race in memory of his brother-in-law, Noel Dawson.

David Friesner approaching the finish of the Great North Run.

David Friesner approaching the finish of the Great North Run.

The group came together to raise funds for the Newcastle-based St Oswald’s Hospice in memory of Noel.

For the third year in a row, Holly Friesner has taken on the half-marathon and this year set a new personal best, completing the course in one hour 52 minutes, closely followed by her sister, Joy, finishing in two hours.

Not to be outdone, David came out of running retirement to take part in this year’s race, having completed the inaugural event in 1981 and numerous Great North Runs since then.

But not everyone in the group had as much running experience. “One of my nephews and sister-in-law are not runners at all,” said David. “They’ve gone from nothing to a half-marathon.”

David’s time was a very creditable two hours 13 minutes. Others in the team finished in two hours 17 minutes, two hours 51 minutes, and his sister-in-law and niece in four hours.

Seventy-five supporters from all over the world have supported them in reaching their target of raising more than £1,800 and donations are still coming in.

David added: “The Great North Run has to be the best half-marathon, probably in the world.

“Our family’s effort shows that it doesn’t matter what your starting point is, if you set your goals, you can achieve great things.”