Memories of loved ones helped spur on fund-raisers taking part in the region’s iconic half-marathon.
Fifty runners tackled the Great North Run to raise cash for HospiceCare North Northumberland and have so far raised more than £12,363.
It was an emotional day for Julia Matthewson, Carn Peaston, Helen Henderson, Laura Matthews and Diane Wright.
Last year they helped Julia and Emma push mum Angela Matthewson around the course in a wheelchair.
Angela was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009 aged 37 and after a five-year battle died on September 21, 2014. Julia said: “Mum was so brave and determined to do the GNR last year and raise money for HospiceCare, who supported her throughout her illness.
“We decided very quickly among family and friends that we would do it again this year in memory of an inspirational lady.”
Sara Herring and her step-daughter Ali Liddle ran the race in memory of Sarah’s brother-in-law, who died last year.
She said: “He sadly passed away on Sunday, September 14, 2014, at home with his family, supported by HospiceCare. Running the GNR for HospiceCare North Northumberland was a way of giving something back, for their support at a vital time of need.
“My step-daughter, Ali kept me going round the course. It was tough, particularly in the heat, though the crowds really keep you going. We are proud to have raised over £1,500 for HospiceCare and want to thank everyone for their support.”
Jonny, Stuart, Vicky and Mark Diggens and Connor Stroughton, from family-run business Mastora, in Alnwick, also took part for HospiceCare.
Vicky said: “When we heard that HospiceCare had some spaces for the GNR we decided to take it on as a personal challenge amongst ourselves, whilst raising funds for a great local charity.”
Emma Arthur, events and community fund-raiser at HospiceCare, decided to run her third Great North Run dressed as Hospice Ted.
“People in costumes always get attention so I thought it would be be fitting in our 20th anniversary year to do something different,” she said.
“It was a great occasion and the crowds definitely keep you motivated to finish. My hand hurts from all the high fives that I was giving the children lining the streets. One little girl ran over to me to give me a bear hug.
“I feel immensely proud and humbled to be part of the HospiceCare GNR team, especially on hearing our runners’ personal stories of why they are running for HospiceCare. It is a testament to the great work our nurses do in our local communities. So far our amazing team of 50 runners have raised over £12,363 with more to come in.”
William Blackshaw, from Blackshaws Garage, also pulled on his running shoes – and a monkey outfit – for HospiceCare.
He said: “The Great North Run is a great event, and being part of it is special. Our family business has had a long-term relationship with HospiceCare for quite a few years and it’s a terrific charity ran by great people, so hearing they wanted 50 runners to celebrate their 20th anniversary year I was more than happy to take part again, and there was no monkeying around this year”.”
To join HospiceCare on the starting line next year on Sunday, September 11, email Emma at firstname.lastname@example.org