Joe to swap running gear for ambulance uniform at finish of Great North Run

Joe Coyne, a St John Ambulance volunteer who will be taking part in the Great North Run.
Joe Coyne, a St John Ambulance volunteer who will be taking part in the Great North Run.

A competitor in this year’s Great North Run will be helping other runners the minute he finishes.

Joe Coyne will be swapping his runner gear for his St John Ambulance uniform once he crosses the line in South Shields.

The 23-year-old, from Whitley Bay, will be running in the half marathon to raise money for the first aid charity.

Joe, who is also a Martial Arts Black Belt, regularly gives up his free time to volunteer with St John Ambulance.

He started volunteering with the charity around a year ago. Prior to this he was a volunteer for the RNLI so he knows a thing or two about saving lives.

Joe said: “When you’ve been brought up near the sea, even nowadays you hear of so many tragic accidents that you never really take life or personal safety for granted.

“Since an early age I’ve always admired people who could wade in and take charge in an emergency life or death situation so it was second nature to me to get myself trained up to be that person.”

St John Ambulance provides emergency first aid at events like the Great North Run but also teaches people first aid skills so they can also go out and be the difference between a life lost and a life saved.

Joe took part in his first Great North Run in 2012 and has been training hard along Whitley Bay and Tynemouth beaches in order to improve his time and finish the world’s largest half marathon in under two hours.

He loves volunteering for St John Ambulance and hopes to work as a paramedic in the future.

This year more than 100 highly trained staff and volunteers from St John Ambulance, including cycle responders, will be on hand to tend to the first aid needs of both runners and supporters as part of a multi-functional medical team.

The charity will cover ten medical hubs along the route, as well as eight ambulances with many first aiders out on foot patrol.

To sponsor Joe visit