Runners aim to pass £25,000 milestone

Members of Wallsend Harriers who will be doing a Castle 2 Coast challenge for St Oswald's Hospice.
Members of Wallsend Harriers who will be doing a Castle 2 Coast challenge for St Oswald's Hospice.

An athletics club is preparing for an epic relay challenge in aid of charity.

Wallsend Harriers & Athletics Club is preparing for a three day running challenge from Edinburgh Castle to Tynemouth.

And the group of 18 is raising money for St Oswald’s Hospice, in Gosforth, in memory of Linda Todd, the wife of former runner Bill, who received care at the hospice in 2008.

From 2008 onwards, the Wallsend Harriers have taken on different annual ‘Toby’ runs in support of the Hospice, and hope this year’s challenge – over 187 miles from August 21 to August 23 – will take them past the £25,000 landmark.

Wallsend Harriers & Athletics Club chairman and runner, Kevin Payne said: “We started fundraising after Linda spent her last few weeks at the hospice.

“We wanted to raise some money, but I never expected it to carry on for so long, or for us to have raised so much – but now we encourage everyone to get involved.”

“We’re all excited to reach the £25,000 mark.”

“Everyone is really excited about the challenge.

“It’s all about running with your friends and getting to know people better, and all while raising money for such a great cause.

“It will be a lot of the group’s first Toby and there’s tons of hills on the course, so there’ll be a lot of blood, sweat and tears – but it’s good to know we’ll be helping St Oswald’s out.

“We have a lot of love and passion for St Oswald’s Hospice. The charity does great work and helps a lot of local people.”

St Oswald’s fundraiser, Natalie Santamera said: “What the Wallsend Harriers have done for us over the last seven years is amazing.

“£25,000 is a fantastic amount of money.

“The Hospice needs to raise over £7m each year in voluntary giving to continue to provide its services, so their annual Toby runs make a huge difference.”