Great North Run: A record year for the hospice

Some members of the HospiceCare team before the race.
Some members of the HospiceCare team before the race.

HospiceCare North Northumberland had its biggest-ever Great North Run, with a record number of 73 runners taking part this year.

As a result, early indications show that the charity has managed to raise just over £17,000 (with Gift Aid), but the final figure won’t be known until the end of the month.

James Willoughby was first home for the hospice.

James Willoughby was first home for the hospice.

Emma Arthur, events and community fund-raiser for the hospice, said: “It’s been another fantastic year for us. It’s such a tremendous feeling to have this support from our local community.

“Over the last five years, we have seen our Great North Run runners grow from just nine to the 73 who ran for us this year.

“As a runner myself, it’s always so humbling to greet the runners as they cross the finishline, as I fully appreciate the months of training that goes into preparing for the Great North Run and the dedication needed to take part. We are very lucky to have this incredible local support.”

First home for the HospiceCare team was Gazette reporter James Willoughby, who crossed the line in one hour and 23 minutes, coming 300th overall out of more than 43,000 finishers.

Ellie and Justine, who ran for the hospice.

Ellie and Justine, who ran for the hospice.

Others to take part included HospiceCare nurse, Doreen Scantlebury, who crossed the line in two hours, four minutes. She said: “The Great North Run was a huge challenge for me – it was double the distance I have run in the past – but the atmosphere was brilliant and although it was very challenging my incentive was to raise money for HospiceCare.”

Meanwhile, Justine Blackshaw, who finished in two hours, seven minutes, posted on Facebook: ‘I was so happy to run for such an amazing charity! What we did today was nothing compared to what you guys do on a daily basis, so thank you.’

HospiceCare has thanked its three massage therapists who attended to pamper the runners after they crossed the finishing line, as well as its volunteer team which offered a warm welcome and great hospitality in the HospiceCare tent at the end of the run.

HospiceCare North Northumberland is dedicated to providing care and support to adults, carers and families, whose lives are affected by cancer and other life-limiting illnesses, and has day-therapy centres in Alnwick and Berwick.

Doreen Scantlebury

Doreen Scantlebury

Reservations are now open for the Great North Run 2018 with the charity. Contact Emma on 01665 606515 or email earthur@hospicecare-nn.org.uk for more information or to reserve your place.