Caring Andy feels the heat

AS if serving in the Middle East wasn’t enough of a challenge, local RAF Flight Sergeant Andy Downing has run a marathon in relentless desert heat to raise money for a charity back home.

And the 47-year-old serviceman, from Alnwick, is planning to do it all again when he takes part in the Saloman Kielder Marathon later this year, in aid of Carers Northumberland.

Andy, whose first run raised £600 for the charity, said: “Although I had acclimatised to the heat being based here, running 26 miles in 26 degree heat was a real effort.

“Whilst I am out here in the Middle East serving for the RAF I feel that I can also be contributing to my community at home in Northumberland by running the marathon and raising money. There are an estimated 34,000 carers living in Northumberland and I know that carers registered with Carers Northumberland will benefit directly from the funds that I have raised.”

Andy will be putting his running shoes back on and braving an entirely different set of weather conditions on October 9 for the Kielder Marathon.

Carers Northumberland’s Bonnie Houghton is also keen to find others willing to take on the challenge.

“We had a small team of five runners who completed the first Kielder Marathon last October, but we have15 places up for grabs this year,” she said. “If you’d like to join Andy and run for the benefit of the 34,000 unpaid carers in Northumberland in some of the most beautiful countryside in Britain, please get in touch.”

Those interested in running The Salomon Kielder Marathon for the charity can contact the fund-raising team at Carers Northumberland on 01670 518204 or email