Life-saving charity is backed by Harriers

A cheque of £1,000 has been presented to a life-saving charity which played a vital part in helping a runner who collapsed during an iconic race.

Sunday, 12th March 2017, 2:00 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:09 am
Tracey Sample, chairman of Alnwick Harriers, presents the cheque of £1,000 to David Gibson, from the Great North Air Ambulance Service.

Alnwick Harriers has donated the money to the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) following the dramatic incident at last year’s Northumberland Coastal Run.

The GNAAS was called to Alnmouth beach after runner Alan Ford suffered a heart attack during the club’s flagship 14-mile race.

The 41-year-old casualty collapsed just 400metres from the finish line.

His heart stopped for 10 minutes and the Barnsley Harrier was resuscitated a number of times on the beach by fellow runners before being taken to the hospital in Cramlington by the GNAAS.

A few months later, he was reunited with the men who helped save his life.

Now, the Harriers have given something back to the charity by donating £1,000 to the cause.

And the club has announced that it will be raising further funds for the GNAAS during this year’s Northumberland Coastal Run, which takes place on Sunday, July 23.

The 2017 race, from Beadnell to Alnmouth, is fully subscribed after all 1,200 places were snapped up in January in a record time of just over four hours.

The scenic run has been shortlisted for the 2017 Running Awards in the half-marathon category. To vote for it, visit

○ The cheque was presented at the North East Harrier League cross-country fixture, staged at Alnwick Pastures. For a race report and to see how members of Alnwick Harriers fared, see Page 70.