Thanks to all our Great North Runners!
Wishgranter Bethany with brother Rob, who also ran
Our team of about 160 runners who took on the world’s most famous half marathon this year came from as far afield as Cumbria, and Staffordshire, Surrey and Liverpool and enjoy careers varying from paramedic to street dance instructor to hairdresser; the team also included workers from some of our corporate supporters – and even one of our very own Wishgranting Co-ordinators...
Father and son team Steve and Arran Wilson from Burnley. Steve, 51, a secondary school head teacher, injured himself just seven weeks ago but still managed to complete the run in two hours and 11 minutes. Arran, 18, was attempting the GNR for the first time and managed a very respectable one hour and 30 minutes. Steve said: “It was great both being able to run it because we could motivate each other – it also helped that we were running for such a good cause.”
Steve and Arran
Bethany Coles, a Make-A-Wish Wishgranting Co-ordinator from Stone, Staffordshire, 23, chose to run for Make-A-Wish because when her Mum was very poorly with cancer, her family were organised a once-in-a-lifetime holiday for her. This inspired Bethany to apply to work for Make-A-Wish so she could help grant magical wishes to poorly children. After the Run, she said: “This was a huge personal challenge that I undertook because the work of Make-A-Wish is so important – every day we change the lives of some very ill children and their families.”
41 year old Liz James, a hairdresser from Sedbergh, Cumbria, chose us because she has three children and she couldn't imagine how she’d feel if anything happening to them. She said: “My husband started working for NFU Mutual in January and was excited for us to get involved in supporting their charity partner, Make-A-Wish. I started running following the birth of my first child; I had post-natal depression and wanted to pick up my mood. This was my eighth half marathon and I was delighted to help raise necessary funds to support Make-A-Wish.”
Bruce Attree, a Tigrent Learning employee from Kingston, Surrey, also 41, ran for Make-A-Wish because Tigrent Learning has been a valued corporate partner of ours for the last six years, during which time they have raised over £350,000. Bruce said: “This was my second Great North Run for the charity. Thinking of the smiles on poorly children's faces kept me going.”
Kimberly Hill, 30, a street dance instructor from Liverpool, finished in two hours and 37 minutes, despite injuring her hamstring at mile three. She chose to run for Make-A-Wish after reading Mum's List by St John Greene, a book about a mother with fatal cancer and her wishes for the future of her family after she is gone: “After I read this book about that little boy’s wish and how special it was to the family, I could not stop crying. I knew straight away that I had to do something for this incredible charity.”
Karen England, Director of Fundraising at Make-A-Wish, said: “We are extremely grateful to everyone who ran the Great North Run on behalf of Make-A-Wish. We have just granted our 8,000th wish – a milestone we wouldn’t have been able to reach without the help of dedicated supporters like these fantastic runners.”
Other runners included:-
- Tanya Dixon from Penrith, who ran dressed as Batwoman, and chose Make-A-Wish because her daughter, Ella, goes to school with two children who have had wishes. Ella and her brother Alfie ran the mini Great North Run the day before the big race, also in aid of Make-A-Wish.
- Wish Mum Janet Davies from Chorley in Lancashire, whose son Rhodri had his wish granted to be a policeman for the day in 2002, before sadly passing away in 2003 aged just four as a result of his Neuroblastoma (cancer of the nervous system).
- Janet Towers, a paramedic from Lancaster Janet, 23, who told us: “I volunteer with the North West Children's Support Group and through them I found out about Make-A-Wish. I really wanted to raise money to help other poorly children have special experiences.”
- Elizabeth Larcombe, a student from Sedgefield, Elizabeth, 20, who chose to run the GNR after her boyfriend sadly passed away four months ago from heart failure – he had been diagnosed with Emery-Dreifuss Muscular Dystrophy in 2009. She said: “What can provide comfort is the knowledge that Ollie lived life exactly how he intended, and most importantly that he was happy. Make-A-Wish also supports the notion of living life to its entirety and enjoying the moments; it’s a fantastic cause because it gives young people something important to focus on.”
- Anna Savage, from Lowestoft, who ran with her Mum, Kay in memory of her cousin Ellie who was granted her wish ten years ago to swim with dolphins, in Tenerife, after being diagnosed with a brain tumour.
- John Henzell, from Wakefield, who weighed 21 stone at Christmas last year but since training for the GNR has managed to lose four stone.
- Rachel Whittaker, who chose Make-A-Wish (for the second time) because her colleague’s son had a wish granted to visit Lapland.
- Stephen Lazell, a quantity surveyor from Poulton-Le-Fylde, Lancashire, who ran for Make-A-Wish because he wanted to mark his 50th birthday.