Family joins the army of runners

Raphael McCall (10), Gabriel McCall (8) and Sophie McCall (5) alongside dad Alastair McCall, who ran alongside Sophie in the mini Great North Run, in aid of the Jam Jar Army's fund-raising efforts for Hospice Care North Northumberland.
Raphael McCall (10), Gabriel McCall (8) and Sophie McCall (5) alongside dad Alastair McCall, who ran alongside Sophie in the mini Great North Run, in aid of the Jam Jar Army's fund-raising efforts for Hospice Care North Northumberland.

THE announcement that the Jam Jar Army hit the £3,000 mark last week was followed up by a welcome boost from the Great North Run at the weekend.

Three children raised £500 running the Mini and Junior Great North Runs last weekend.

Raphael, Gabriel and Sophie McCall are the children of Judith O’Reilly, who helped set up the Jam Jar Army along with the Northumberland Gazette earlier this year.

The Great North Run raises millions of pounds for charity each year and the efforts of the three Seahouses siblings aged 10, eight and five, have given a significant boost to the Jam Jar Army’s fund-raising efforts as we work towards our £10,000 target.

“We wanted to help a good cause,” said Raphael, a pupil at Seahouses Middle School. “We could hardly have done the run and not raised money for the Jam Jar Army.”

Raphael completed the 4km Junior Great North Run course in 24 minutes 10 seconds, coming 269th in his age group.

Gabriel and Sophie completed the mini course of 1.5km in just under six minutes and just under eight minutes respectively, good enough to earn Gabriel a top 20 finish in his wave of 1,000 runners aged from three to eight years.

“It was great fun. I have never run with so many people,” said Gabriel, a pupil at Ellingham First School. “We want to thank all the people who supported us.”

Of the three children, the youngest, Sophie, also a pupil at Ellingham, was the most successful in extracting pledges of support from godparents and family, raising as much as her brothers put together.

“I loved doing the run,” she said. “I did lots of training with my daddy.”

The children’s father, Alastair McCall, a keen runner, completed both races with them. The children raised £250, which was match-funded by Alastair’s employer, News International.