Fitness duo cross the Great North Run finish line for St Catherine’s.
By Jade Taylorson
Two friends who met at a running club they had joined to get in shape took on their biggest challenge yet when they completed the Great North Run half marathon in aid of StCatherine’s Hospice.
Mary Hardacre and David Postlethwaite pounded the pavements for 13.1 miles at the event in September and raised a fantastic £1,364 for the charity.
A huge 57,000 runners took part in the race, starting in Newcastle upon Tyne. The course was lined with supporters all the way from the iconic Tyne Bridge, right out towards the coast in South Shields.
Mary and David ran as a pair throughout the race and raised their arms together as they supported each other across the finish line.
David said: “I found it really hard towards the end. The spectators seemed to sense my discomfort and their enthusiasm and support got me through. My legs had turned to jelly, I was hot and exhausted, but the end was in sight.
“When we crossed the finish line I was proud, exhilarated and couldn’t actually believe I’d done it. When my medal was placed around my neck and I got my finishers pat on the back, I was quite emotional.”
The pair met at a local running group 18 months ago on a couch to 5k running programme, which they then progressed to 10k.
Several members of the programme spoke about the thrill of the Great North Run, so Mary and David decided they wanted to be part of it. They chose to raise money for St Catherine’s Hospice in memory of David’s father, who was cared for by St Catherine’s for a short period last winter.
David said: “My family were blown away by the love, support, care and dignity which my Dad and the rest of the family experienced during his stay. As a family we pledged to support St Catherine’s whenever possible in the future.”
Both Mary and David have secured places for next year’s Great North Run and hope to be accompanied by David’s sons, who would love to follow in their dad’s footsteps – running to raise funds for the hospice.
David said: “We were delighted that our own personal achievement was able to raise money for St Catherine’s and were overwhelmed by the support and generosity of our families, friends and work colleagues.”
If you’ve been inspired by David and Mary, you yourself can take part in a marathon for St Catherine’s. Take a look at our individual challenges here.
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