RUNNERS from Wakefield will pound the streets of Newcastle today (Sunday) as they take part in the Bupa Great North Run.
Olympic champions and gold medallists, Mo Farah, Kat Copeland, Greg Rutherford, Nicola Adams and paralympian Ellie Simmonds will start the world’s most popular half-marathon.
The Hodgson family, from College Grove, will be running to raise £1,000 for the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation (CLDF), after son James, now six, was diagnosed with a rare liver disease, at just nine weeks old.
Mum, Rachel, 42, will be competing in the main event and accompanying James in the Mini Great North Run on Saturday, while 13 year old Harry will be joined by his dad, Michael, 43, in the Junior run.
Mrs Hodgson said: “CLDF have always been there for us with support and information. We are keen to raise as much as we can by doing the Great North Run as a family.”
Giles Robinson, 25, from Ossett, will only be wearing pants, when he completes the run with a group of eight friends. Mr Robinson was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2008, and his team are raising money for the Everyman Campaign, which supports research into the disease.
He said: “To be entering the Great North Run in support of Everyman Campaign and with the other team members is a great honour and I’m sure I will look back at the day we ran around Newcastle and Gateshead in our undies with a grin on my face, for the rest of my life.”
Jimmy Gittins, 38, former Sharlston Rovers rugby league player, believes he will be the only person completing the run on a hand cycle.
He suffered an injury, which left him paralysed from the neck down, but has regained movement in his arms.
Mr Gittins, of Stanley, said:“It will be a massive test for me with the hand cycle as I’ve not used it much before .“I’m very excited but also scared.”
He will be accompanied by his wife Lucy, former St Helens captain, Paul Sculthorpe and his wife Lynsey.
They will be raising money for premature baby unit, Tiny Lives, in Newcastle.
Horbury Churches Together Youth Club are also taking part in the event for the twelfth time, this year.
And 17 of their runners, aged between 18 and 55, will be raising money for The Breakthru Project, run by the group, to provide activities for youngsters.
Youth project co-ordinator, John Walter, said: “We are hoping to raise in excess of £5,000.”