Last updated at 15:52, Thursday, 13 September 2012
THREE runners will be the pride of Parkside Panthers when they take on the world’s largest half marathon this Sunday.
Nigel Simpson, Ali Miller and Stuart Wallace, who train with the Park Leisure Centre running group, will be among the 55,000 runners taking part in the 2012 Bupa Great North Run.
The three are fighting fit for race day after training hard all summer, both with the running group and individually.
It’s Nigel Simpson’s first event and he’s had invaluable support from his partner, keen runner, Ali Miller.
Nigel said: “I run to stay fit and it was a good thing for us to share more time.”
The event should prove an emotional occasion for the couple who are both running in memory of lost loved ones.
“My father passed away a couple of years ago and he did the same race in the late 1980s. In a sense I wanted to follow in his footsteps,” added Nigel.
“One of the things I remember as a kid was how much training he put in to prepare for the Great North Run. When I took up running last year I never thought I’d be entering the same gruelling 13-mile course all these years later!”
After losing her father and grandmother to cancer Ali Miller is raising money for Cancer Research UK.
Nigel is raising money for a charity called the Sunshine Fund, which provides specially adapted equipment for children with disabilities or special needs, to improve the quality of their lives.
Stuart Wallace, a running group training leader, has been creative in his approach to fundraising after relying on friends and family to sponsor previous marathon and half marathon events.
He completed the Edinburgh Marathon earlier this year and will take part in the Liverpool Marathon next month.
“I’ve done all my runs for Alice’s Escapes this year,” said Stuart.
“I’ve not had a big push on sponsorship because training for the marathon has been horrific.
“At the moment I’m training five days a week, with Mondays and Fridays as rest days.”
Liberata held a dress down day to raise money for Stuart and he’s been baking and selling cakes and running “guess the finish time” competitions.
Those not taking part in the Great North Run can tune in to the action live on BBC One on Sunday from 9.30am to 1.30pm.
First published at 16:39, Wednesday, 12 September 2012
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
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