A NORTH Shields dad has teamed up with the NSPCC to run the 2013 London Marathon as he chases a personal target of raising £50,000.
Deputy headteacher Paul Harris, 36, will be running the race on April 21 in memory of his daughter Caoimhe, who died suddenly in 2011 aged just two-years-old.
He said: “Since the devastating loss of Caoimhe, I’ve been focusing my energy on raising money in her name for the NSPCC, which is one of the most worthwhile charities I know.
“Nothing made much sense when Caoimhe died, but the one thing that did was the idea of keeping her memory alive by doing something really worthwhile.
“Every child should have the right to enjoy a safe and secure childhood, just as my daughters have, and the NSPCC has made a significant impact helping to improve the lives of vulnerable children here in the north east and across the UK.”
Paul, a teacher in Gateshead, has another daughter, Oonagh, two, and wife Catherine is expecting another baby a week after the marathon.
Last year Paul took part in a 69-mile ultra marathon along Hadrian’s Wall, and he is also planning on running three marathons, three half marathons and taking part in a sponsored swim.
He added: “I can’t believe how far we’ve come in just a short space of time.
“My initial target was to raise £5,000, but I’ve already raised nearly £38,000 so far, but it would be fantastic to get to £50,000.
“Knowing that I’m running in my daughter’s memory and for such a worthwhile cause will really spur me on when I feel myself flagging in the London Marathon.”
Money raised for the NSPCC through this year’s event will help the charity to change and improve the lives of children all year round through its local community services in Newcastle and across the UK.
Ben Margetts, NSPCC community fundraising manager for the north east, said: “We couldn’t continue to provide our services which are a lifeline to many children without the support of people like Paul, we wish him luck with his training and the race day itself and would appeal to others with a place in the event to run for the NSPCC.”