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Great North Run 2008

You are in: Tyne > Great North Run > Great North Run 2008 > Great North Run 2008 - Your stories

Great North Run 2007 runners

Runners at the start

Great North Run 2008 - Your stories

You've been telling us all the great reasons why you are taking part in this year's Great North Run. Read on and be inspired...

The 2008 Great North Run is on Sunday 5 October and as usual BBC Tyne will have a whole host of features and photos from the big day to give you a real flavour of the event.

In the run up to the race we asked runners to tell us the reasons why they decided to take part.

Kim and her daughter Abbie

Kim and Abbie are running for Kidney Research UK

Below are the stories of some of those who got in touch.

Patricia Doyle from Newcastle: Patricia Joanne Barbara and Diane are running in memory of our great friend Sharon who lost her battle with cancer last year she ran every year for Percy Hedley Fund where she was a physiotherapist so we are hoping to raise over 1000 in her memory. She never let anything stop her from living a full life we all miss her.

Mavis Shotton from Rochdale: Ran last year aged 57 for the first time. 6 weeks later I was diagnosed with lung cancer. I had 7 weeks treatment early this year involving chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Tumour has shrunk and I have trained again and am running again this year for Marie Curie. Whatever money I raise my husband is going to donate the same amount to lung cancer research at Christies Hospital in Manchester.

Tina Ashcroft from South Shields: Anne Ashcroft, 63 years old from South Shields, is running the GNR on her Ruby Wedding Anniversary instead of enjoying a romantic break with her husband of 40 years.  This is her 18th GNR and she is raising money for MS research as she has done every year since 1991. This year she is running in memory of her sister in law Dawn Frazer who died last year after bravely suffering MS for many years. GOOD LUCK MAM!!!

Mike Thompson, from Stafford: I am running for Kidney Research UK and this will be my third GNR. Our whole family was devastated when my daughter, out of the blue, was diagnosed with kidney disease 3 years ago. Luckily she has made a full recovery and was discharged from the hospital this year. She has been through so much running a half marathon seemed like the least I could do to help raise money for more research into the disease. Good luck to everybody taking part, hope everybody enjoys it and reaches their own personal goals.

Group of Traidcraft runners

Runners enjoying the day

Sarah Morgan, from Penygraig, Rhondda Valleys: Team Loopy will be running (and walking!) this year to raise money for the Special Baby Care Unit at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital, The Stroke Association and Marie Curie Cancer Care. We are Sarah, Badger, Hugh, Phil and Wiffy and we are all members of Penygraig Rugby Club in South Wales. Loopy (Louise) was an amazing young lady who was killed in a car accident last August - she worked for the Rugby Club and we all loved her - she was like a little sister to me. Its also in memory of others including my Dad and its for those who are looked after by our 3 chosen charities. See you all at the finish line - we hope!

Scott Walton, from Bexleyheath: I started running last November, what prompted me to take up running was whilst walking to work a found out I wobbled when I walked. I decided then that it was time to do something about it so I took up running. Within the month I was regularly running five miles with a group I met at the gym. I plucked up the courage to enter a few 10ks and completed those faster than I thought. I then started to focus on the half as I have always wanted to run a marathon at sometime in my life. Whilst looking at the runnersworld website I saw a few charities still had places for the GNR and decided to approach the British Heart Foundation. They offered me a place to my surprise and I started to up my mileage. My PB for distances were falling and that is when disaster struck, in the form of a groin strain. I rested it for 3 weeks hoping that it would be ok, then when the pain subsided I started to run again, but to early and the injury flared again. After 7 weeks out I managed to start running again in mid September and was resigned to just complete the race if the injury didn't flare again. It was touch and go for a week and actually nearly pulled out altogether, but I decided to carry on, and when I did my first long run after the lay off, I realised that my target time may still actually be achievable. I am travelling up to Newcastle by overnight coach so I will hopefully get some sleep, then have 4hrs to get nervous before the start. Good luck everyone for Sunday!

Simon from Accrington: I am running for The Prostate Cancer Charity as my Uncle sadly passed away after suffering from the disease earlier on this year. Having plodded round the Great North Run 4 times now, I am going all out for a personal best. I'm sure the buzz + amazing atmosphere will carry me around. Look out for Woodsy on my vest + give me a cheer!!!

Helen Warhurst from Nottingham: This is my first Great North Run - I'm running for Save the Children, with a bunch of other people from my company, Reckitt Benckiser.  We were lucky enough to visit a Save the Children project in India last year, and have seen how a little money can go a long way to helping children out of a life of near slavery back to a happy childhood.  Hoping to raise loads of money to help lots more children.

Anthony Anderson from Redhill: I am running, for the third consecutive year, for Epilepsy Action. This is in memory of my half brother, Jacob, who died in April 2005, aged 22. See you all there and don't forget the Vaseline!

Dale Lowes from Kent: I'm running for Breast Cancer Care in memory of my Mother, Enid, who very sadly passed away two years ago. We were originally from Durham, so this is like a homecoming and I can’t wait. I’ve never been a natural runner, so this will be a real challenge –  it will be worth it, even if I have to walk half the course!

Start of the Great North Run

Start of the Great North Run

John Laws from Blyth: Running in my 25th Great North Run I still get excited and nervous at the start, when you get to the finish wow and think next year will be even better. I am running for Smile Train. Good luck every one, just enjoy the day.

Charles Paterson: I'm running for Action Medical Research in fancy dress NUNS on the run. The charity are mainly involved in research into why babies are born early, but are also involved in many other medical areas such Motor Neurones. I'm running for two reasons. The first is because in February 2007, my little boy daniel was born at 24 weeks and died ten days later. The second, I play rugby for Hullensians RUFC and our coach Simon Smith passed away in April 2007 after a hard fought battle with Motor Neurone Disease. Please cheer me on when you see me on the course. 

Rachel Boyles, from Prudhoe: The 2 Pauls from Prudhoe are running the GNR again this year after a successful 1st attempt in aid of Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Along with the rest of the families doing the mini and junior GNR on the 4th.  More details on

James Branch, from Hebburn: This will be my first GNR and I'm really excited to be a part of this fantastic charity run! I've heard so many excellent stories about the electric atmosphere at the start and throughout the race! I'm very nervous at the same time though, as I haven't trained as much as I would have liked to, although I'm sure we'll all help each other to the finish! I'm running for Marie Curie Cancer Care and hope to raise £500! Good luck to everyone taking part!

Suzanne Davison, North Shields: I am running to raise funds for Marie Curie Cancer Care as I have lost two friends to this disease recently. I found out I had got a place the same day one of my friends passed away so I am determined to get round no matter how much it hurts as I would like to give something back to help others in need of support. I have never done any running before now so I will give it my best and hopefully will raise some funds at the same time.

Robert Cummins: I'm running for breast cancer in my first ever run. My grandmother died in her early 40s and I was only three so do not remember her unfortunately. I have a heart condition myself so have never been very fit, I couldn't run a mile without stopping at the start of this year. But with help from a nice woman I met at gym in Chester-le-Street I have slowly built my fitness up and hopefully will complete the run without stopping. A close family member has been diagnosed with MND in April so the last few months have been extremely hard for myself and family. I have a great mam and fiance who are helping me stay focused.

Alastair Scott, from Edinburgh: I am running for the Association of Young People With ME (AYME). My daughter suffers from ME and this wonderful charity has supported her. I have already run The Great Edinburgh 10K this year for the charity and managed to secure some airtime on local radio stations Forth 1 and 2. AYME may not be one of the biggest charities, but they do fantastic work for young people with ME and their families. Full details of their work at

Runner takes a rest at the end of the GNR

Runner takes a rest at the end of the GNR

Charlotte Sygmuta, from Cambridge: I'm running this year as I lost a close friend and my grandad to cancer. After a tough year I decided that rather than talking about doing something huge, I would actually DO something to raise money for Yorkshire Cancer Research.

Sheila Anderson, from Clevedon, North Somerset: I am doing the run to celebrate my 60th birthday which is on 27 Sept. It is my first half marathon and I will be running with my daughter. It was watching her many times that got me running in charity races 2 years ago and I have never looked back. It was my ambition to do the great north this year and I was so lucky to get a place.

Ali Digby, from Manchester: I am a student at Manchester Uni. My cello teacher was diagnosed with breast cancer recently so I am running it for breast cancer research.

Roderick Macpherson, from Sunderland: I was 60 years old in 2008 and have never competed in any event. I wanted to prove that I could do this and raise some money for the RNLI. My family now know that I am as daft as they always thought that I was. I am very lucky to have a place at the first attempt.

Sarah Wilson, from Leeds: I am running with my brother, it is our first half marathon and pretty much our first charity run. We are running for St Gemma's Hospice in our home town, where our Grandad was cared for in the last days of his life.

Victoria Hall, from Allerton Bywater: After watching my dad and boyfriend Simon run three half marathons I thought it was about time I got stuck in and so this will be my first half marathon. We are running for Cancer Research UK. I am both excited and nervous, I am sure it will be a very memorable day and I am happy to be sharing this with my dad and Simon. Good luck to all those running!

Peter Rawsthorne: John Matthews is 69-years-old. He is running his second half marathon. He just completed his first at Bristol running as part of a 100 strong team for Weston Hospicecare. He is running the GNR for MS. He is the nicest most selfless person I have ever met.

last updated: 04/10/2008 at 17:30
created: 16/07/2007

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