This year we had 21 fantastic runners who donned their YMCA vests, laced up their trainers and set out to complete the 2019 Great North Run.
The sun was shining from early on in the day and the temperature was going to prove the biggest challenge for our team as they ventured out to take on the gruelling 13.1 mile course.
Team member Alan Hunter told us about what inspired him to run this year…
“After my sisters completed Mt Kilimanjaro for charity, it really inspired me to take on a challenge. I started with a 10km run, which led me to take on the 13.1 mile beast of the North East.
What a fantastic day it was! The weather was stunning and the atmosphere was totally electric. My eldest sister, Kelly, ran alongside me to give me support. She has run it 3 times before, I am truly grateful for her being there as I really needed the extra push after mile 10 when my hips, feet and back began to ache. Huge thanks to my sister for all her support!”
Jane Walker said
“It was my first time running the Great North Run and after relocating back to Newcastle, what better way to fill up the Geordie juices than running with thousands of people over that bridge! It was a totally amazing experience, you just can’t beat the Geordie crowds, the atmosphere was electric. I’m so proud to be from the North East. The sense of accomplishment is unbelievable when you reach the beautiful coastline and cross that finish line. Total elation”
Amongst our team of first-timers, staff members and seasoned runners, we had a man who was running for a very different reason.
Ryan Siddall, who had never run the Great North Run before decided to take as a personal challenge, he explained why he chose to take part;
“I ran for the YMCA as I’d struggled with homelessness when I was younger. What kept me going through the race was thinking about the incredible work YMCA do to proactively address the shocking problem of youth homelessness. I felt a sense of empowerment knowing I was helping someone somewhere. Passing the finish line was something I never thought I’d experience. My battle with addiction was a double edged sword, it would present excuses not to train, or not even run full stop, but it also gave me an opportunity to put myself second and focus on other people in dire need of support. I am truly grateful for being asked to run this year and I would do it again at the drop of a hat!”
Our Customer Service Leader, Eliza Lawson, who organises YMCA’s Great North Run team said,
“Every year that I have organised our team and run the race, it always absolutely astonishes me the level of positivity and commitment people show. The money we raise is vital in helping keep a roof over the heads of the 36 young people who live in our supported accommodation. I have seen first hand, on so many occasions, the transformative nature of the work YMCA does. It’s so much more than just a roof over their heads. It’s about becoming a part of a family for them. Showing up consistently for them, providing opportunities, a place to grow and learn. Every year this team of runners become a huge part of our YMCA Family and show our young people the lengths that their community are prepared to go to, to support them.
I’m so proud of our runners!”
So far we are well on our way to raising over £5000 towards the cost, upkeep and maintenance of our vital supported accommodation. Helping transform the lives of the 36 young people who live with us. We cannot thank our amazing team for their collective efforts.
If you are interested in running and fundraising for YMCA North Tyneside in The Great North Run 2020, please click the link and complete the form.