Great North runners achieve great things

Maya McGarvey successfully completed the Junior Great North Run.
Maya McGarvey successfully completed the Junior Great North Run.

Inspirational, dedicated and extremely proud – fund-raisers from north Northumberland tackled Great North Run events for loved ones and charities close to their heart.

Among them was Megan McGarvey, aged eight, from Amble, who ran in Saturday’s Mini Great North Run with younger sister Olivia, four, and mum Rachel.

Megan and Olivia McGarvey at the end of the Mini Great North Run.

Megan and Olivia McGarvey at the end of the Mini Great North Run.

To complete the family affair, older sister Maya, 10, took on the junior run while dad Kevin ran the main event on Sunday.

Megan was able to take part for the first time in an event like this as she has finally been given the all-clear and is off medication after a string of heart abnormalities dating back to birth.

She underwent life-saving surgery at the children’s heart unit at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital when just a few days old and the entire family were raising funds for the CHUF– the Children’s Heart Unit Fund.

Mum Rachel said: “Megan and her friend walked over the bridge, but ran the rest of the way so she did really well.

“I’m dead proud of them and they have got their medals to show for it.

“Kevin did his best time ever and got under two hours which he was really pleased about.

“It was a really nice day and a great atmosphere – it’s incredibly busy even for the kids’ races.

“It’s lovely on the way round, there’s a lot of lovely support.”

With some money still to be counted, the total raised for CHUF will be in the region of £750 with gift aid.

Ruth Appleby took on the run in memory of her brother Daniel, from Longhoughton, who died of acute myeloid leukaemia last year, aged 24. Daniel was very active and completed the Great North Run in 2009.

Ruth has raised nearly £2,500 for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research. To sponsor her, visit leby.

Amble resident Mandy Russell said crossing the finishing line was an emotional moment.

The 48-year-old mother-of-two ran in aid of Farplace Animal Rescue. It was also part of her efforts to lose weight.

Now 11-and-a-half-stone, she has shed eight stone in the last 12 months. To sponsor her, visit Her offline sponsorship is going to dog charity Deissima Roxana.

A team of runners helped collect more than £4,500 for HospiceCare North Northumberland. The group was Emma Arthur, Michele Hall, Gareth Carter, Richard Carter, William Blackshaw, Suzy Robson, Rebecca Taylor, Tom Hitchen, Rachel Bayley, Michael Bayley, Phil Nicholson, Richard Biggers and Diana Weightman.

Diana, from Lesbury, was one of four members of her family to take part in the weekend’s events. Son Connor ran in Sunday’s event while his younger brother Adam turned out in the Junior Great North Run the day before.

Daughter Laura was second in the women’s Elite Mile, part of Newcastle’s Great North CityGames.