Mother and son on run for good cause

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by Gillian McDade

A DRAPERSTOWN mother and son team has raised over £1000 for Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke through participation in the Bupa Great North Run in Newcastle, England, in September.

Sam McCloskey completed the Great North Run, the largest half marathon in the UK, while son Ben, a keen sports player, took part in the junior run which was a distance of 4kms. The duo raised £1520 which was presented to Brian McCloskey, the North West Community Fundraiser from the NICHS.

Sam told the MAIL she began running three to four years ago as a means of improving fitness.

“This is the third year that both of us have taken part in the Great North Run,” she said. “The very first run I took part in was the Maghera 10k. It’s good to have a challenge. I’ve seen the Great North Run on television and I’ve been inspired, so I said one day I would do it and I did.”

The Bupa Great North Run is the premier event in the Great Run series and firmly established as Britain’s biggest participation event.

From just 12,000 runners in 1981, the event now has around 55,000 entrants selected from over 100,000 applicants.

Starting in Newcastle, the course takes in the Tyne Bridge and goes through Gateshead, passing the international athletics stadium and finishing in South Shields. Many world class athletes have taken on the challenge including Paula Radcliffe.

The McCloskey family members have always put their best feet forward for charity and previous beneficiaries of their marathon efforts have included The Stroke Association.

Sam said the cool, dry conditions helped, and she completed the 2012 run in under two hours. She said her husband Barry and colleague Paul Bradley were responsible for much of the fundraising.

The NICHS is a charity close to their hearts as both Sam’s family, Barry’s and Paul’s have been affected by stroke.