FROM hospital chaplain to Olympic runner, Methodist chaplain David Shaw is set to make history.
The dad-of-two has been chosen from hundreds of thousands of people to be one of the first to cross the finish line at London’s new Olympic Stadium.
The 57-year-old, from Cullercoats, North Tyneside, will take part in the National Lottery Olympic Park Run tomorrow.
The event will see 5,000 people run through the Olympic Park before finishing inside the Olympic Stadium, the first time the public will gain access to the centrepiece of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
David, a chaplain at Newcastle RVI, said: “I did the Great North Run last year with five other chaplains from Newcastle Hospitals and really enjoyed it so when I was offered the chance to apply for the Olympic Park Run, I thought why not?
“I’ve never been a runner. I had to start my training by walking one minute, running one minute, so to go from that to the Olympic Stadium is incredible.”
The five-mile journey will start at the side of London’s newest landmark, the red ArcelorMittal Orbit, allowing runners to be among the first to get up close to Anish Kapoor’s spectacular 115-metre tower.
The event will be started by Princess Beatrice, who will also take part in it and present the fastest finisher medals.
“It’s wonderful to be a part of Olympic history,” said David, dad to Joshua, 16, and Aaron, 26.
“I had to explain my motivation for wanting to do the run on the entry form so I said I want to do it in memory of my father Ernest Shaw, who just missed out on a place in the British team as a sprinter in the 1936 Olympics.
“It will be quite emotional for me to be at the Olympic Stadium knowing that my dad was a runner who almost made it to Olympic standard.”
David, who has been a hospital chaplain for 13 years, is raising money for the Charlie Bear for Cancer Care charity.
The charity hopes to raise £3m to buy the region’s first Cyberknife. It delivers radiation to tumours that are not amenable to treatment by surgery or conventional radiotherapy and would be based at the Northern Centre for Cancer Care at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital.
Angie Taylor, Charlie Bear fundraising co-ordinator, said “I am delighted that David is flying the flag for the North East and the Charlie Bear Charity.”