Thousands join run to raise cash for charity

FOR tens of thousands of people, yesterday’s great North Run was their opportunity to raise vast sums for charity – many in the North-East.

FOR tens of thousands of people, yesterday’s great North Run was their opportunity to raise vast sums for charity – many in the North-East.

Paul Donaghy, of Newcastle, dressed as a bird and ran alongside his father Peter, 68. The pair do the race every year for St Oswald’s Hospice.

Paul, 39, said: “We got off to a flying start despite someone trying to clip my wings.”

Cruise ship worker Mark Price, 29, of Corbridge, Northumberland, dressed as a French maid to raise money for homeless charity Shelter. He said: “It was very hard work but I had lots of fun.”

While Ronald Murray, 43, of Stockton, has run in the Great North Run 25 times, this year he ran on behalf of Daisy Chain, a charity for parents of disabled children.

Tom Granger, of Inverness, ran dressed as Spongebob Squarepants.

After the run, Tom, 26, said: “I am absolutely knackered, it is so hot in this costume and I wore it all the way.”

Tom ran for the charity DebRA for those who suffer from genetic skin conditions.

Prepared to battle his way to the finish line for the 10th year was Tommy Armstrong, 66, from Greenock, Scotland.

Dressed as a gladiator, he was running with best friend, Jerry Burkhill, 69, from Sheffield to raise money for Leukaemia and MacMillan Cancer Support.

“We run marathons as a way to get together,” said Mr Armstrong, who is known as the “Marathon Man” in Greenock.

The two friends always start and finish together.

“We never miss the Great North Run,” said Mr Armstrong. “We always start first and finish last but it’s good fun and every penny helps.”

A father became his daughter’s favourite cartoon character yesterday when he ran for Shooting Star Childrens’ Hospice.

Matt Anning, 36, was Scooby Doo for a day and managed to raise £600 with fellow runner Edna Prince, 43, both from Surrey.

“I did it last year but not in fancy dress,” Mr Anning said.

“I was dared to dress up this year to raise more money. It’s going to be hot!”

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