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The Fellowship of the Run

A record number of people turned out to run for St Teresa’s Hospice on Sunday in the 36th Great North Run, including one Darlington man who had a wizard of a time.

St T’s Great North Runners Derek Stainsby (l) and David Woodcock (r) after completing the half marathon

In total 111 of our supporters completed the world’s largest half-marathon, joining tens of thousands of people from across the world in the 13 mile run from Newcastle-upon-Tyne to South Shields.

Among those taking part was Derek Stainsby. At age 63, he was one of the oldest people running for St Teresa’s Hospice, and with his white beard and long hair Derek is affectionately known as “the world’s fastest Gandalf”.

Derek said: “I have run half-marathons before but this is the first time I’ve done the Great North Run. I only took up running aged 59 and have done the London Marathon in 5 hours 8 minutes.

I’m probably the oldest person running for St Teresa’s Hospice today. I like the vanity of it – especially when 30 year olds can’t keep up! Running really helps me. I suffer from anxiety depression and running makes a big difference. It means I rarely need to take medication now.”

Like many of those giving their time and energy to the event, Derek was running because St Teresa’s is a cause close to his heart: “My dad was cared by the home sitters and spent some time in the Day Hospice. The psychological support for him was so important. I’ll have raised over £550 for St Teresa’s.”

Our Hospice chief executive Jane Bradshaw said: “So far, more than £12,000 has been raised this year by Great North Runners, and we expect the final total to be close to £20,000.

On behalf of all our patients, volunteers and staff, I’m very proud to congratulate and thank every single one of you – you are all amazing!”

Anyone who would like to run for St Teresa’s Hospice in 2018 is asked to please contact Scott Marshall on 01325 254321.