Team CAFOD gets ready for the Great North Run
This Sunday, thousands of runners will take to the streets through the North East of England, taking the route from Newcastle to South Shields in the UK's largest half marathon!
Keith Pitcher, a recently retired University Director, is running with seven fellow parishioners from St John Fisher and Thomas More in Burley, Leeds. Keith was set a challenge by his children to get fit and do something for charity nine years ago, and he has only missed one race since.
The team have been meeting regularly to promote their efforts in their parish, with another team member, Chris, telling us 'Training and fundraising for this event has not only brought us together as a team, but has involved the whole parish: it's been uplifting!'
Meanwhile, at the other end of the country, Southwark based runners Sarah and Ben last night held a fundraising curry evening and raffle for family and friends. Over 25 people gathered together in Putney to support the pair, an evening which overall raised over £400, which will be split between their fundraising and spent to help fight poverty overseas.
Sarah told us "It's my first ever Great North Run, and I'm really excited, I've always enjoyed running and it's great to have such a good reason to start training again!"
John McBride has run the race many times in the past, as CAFOD's 'Barefoot runner' he would run the last mile in solidarity with those who cannot afford shoes overseas. After running the race 15 times, he will be this year cheering on the sidelines as his daughter Lisa joins Team CAFOD for her first Great North Run.
He told us, "I’ve been through the full range of emotions that the race can throw at you. However one thing has dragged me along, especially the last, endless mile and that’s the amount of good that comes from the effort all our runners put in. That is only matched by the appreciation that our friends who find themselves in poverty, constantly pour out to anyone who wears a CAFOD T-shirt on a visit."
To watch the action at home, tune into BBC1 at 9:30am this Sunday or watch the highlights at 16:50pm on BBC 2.
To read the rest of John's blog about his experience as a runner, please see the CAFOD Middlesborough blog.