HAVING “the runs” will take on a whole new meaning for campaigning Katie Ellison.
The 23-year-old will set foot on her first Great North Run tomorrow dressed as a toilet.
But the graduate is hoping her humorous costume will highlight the more serious issue of some of the world’s poorest countries not having access to clean water.
Northumberland-born Miss Ellison, a press officer for County Durham MEP Fiona Hall, is hoping to raise £1,000 for charity WaterAid which helps provide safe water and sanitation to the world’s poorest people. She said: “I just thought about what I would feel like during the race when I need a drink of water but couldn’t drink it because it was dirty.
“But there are so many millions of children and women who have to walk for miles every day, longer than the distance of the Great North Run, to collect water for their families but they bring it back and it’s not even clean. They still have to drink it.
“Nearly 5,000 children die each day because they have to drink dirty water which is unacceptable.
“During the race, if we were handed cups of dirty water at the water stations people would be horrified and it would be dangerous.
“It’s just something that we all take for granted and it just really hits home.”
Miss Ellison, who now lives in Fenham, Newcastle, said the costume, made of foam, is quite bulky but she is determined to cross the finish line.
“I’ve been getting all sorts of things said to me like ‘watch out for Paula Radcliffe’, but it has all been in good humour,” she added.