A trio of runners from a Nelson firm are celebrating after completing the Great North Run for the first time.
Simon Foster, (38), Janine Murray, (40) and Emily Molloy, (33), are all employees at the Daisy Group, based in Nelson, Lancashire.
None of them knew that the others were taking part in the run right until the last minute, but they have since shared stories of high emotions and aching limbs. Simon, Daisy’s Learning and Development Manager, was thrilled with how far he has come in the short time he has been in training.
He said: “I noticed I had started to get middle aged spread and feared for my future as a couch potato. So, I decided I had to take the matter in hand before it was too late and set about changing my lifestyle for the better.
Now, more than three stone lighter, a much fitter Simon does three runs every week, his third run recently going up to 13 miles early on a Saturday morning in preparation for the Great North Run.
Simon said: “I have taken part in a number of 10k runs over the last 12 months and have managed to get my time down to 49 minutes, but a half marathon was taking things to another level.”
But he has no regrets, finding the whole experience moving and, at times, over-whelming.
These feelings were shared by Janine, a member of Daisy’s corporate development team.
“There was a really lovely atmosphere on the day. People from houses on the route were handing out ice lollies, their children were giving ‘high fives’, and seeing my name on the back of my vest, supporters shouted out words of encouragement,” she said.
“Such a level of support really helps you to get over that finish line.”
Emily, a business process analyst for Daisy, signed up for the race just three months ago.
She said: “I was really nervous because you hear about people training for a full year to do the run and I also had a leg injury which hampered my efforts somewhat.
“But I was dedicated to the cause and I knew I had to get to the finish line in order to collect the money pledged by generous family, friends and colleagues.”
Emily held a Curry Night at the Marsala Rooms in Foulridge days before the run which collected £655.00, and more donations are still coming in.
Many of the evening’s 70 guests were friends and relatives of Colne mother-of-two Julie Patefield, who sadly died from leukaemia in June this year.
Emily said: “It really hit home to me that Julie was a mother of two girls like myself and a tragedy like this could hit any one of us.”
Together, the trio have raised more than £2,000 for their respective charities and they have all pledged to take their place on the Great North Run starting line next year.