Brave dad beats obstacles

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A DAD with a “massive “ fear of heights climbed 60ft to the top of a bridge for charity.

Ian Richardson scaled the Newport Bride between Stockton and Middlesbrough – and then walked the plank off the end of HMS Endeavour – when he took part in the 10k Rat Race event on the River Tees at Stockton.

Last Sunday’s event also saw him – and 10 colleagues – tackle an upstream obstacle course in the River Tees itself as well as stints at kayaking and swimming.

But the brave 39-year-old did it all with little hesitation to raise funds in memory of the wife and daughter he lost in a tragic car crash.

Ian set up the Jo and Mya Memorial Fund in memory of his wife Joanne, 40, and eldest daughter Mya, aged six, who died in a car accident in August 2010.

Ian, who runs an online retail company in Hartlepool, said: “It was brilliant fun but I did keep saying to myself, when I was climbing the bridge, don’t look down. I have a massive fear of heights.

“But the obstacles were brilliant and we were giggling all the way round.

“It looks like we have raised £1,500 so it has been a big fundraiser for us.”

Ian admitted the event had “taken more out of my legs than I thought it would” but said he was ready for his next challenge this weekend.

On Sunday, September 2, Ian and five friends will attempt to climb Yorkshire’s three highest peaks in 12 hours.

They will try to scale the mountains of Whernside (at 2,415ft), Ingleborough (2,372 ft) and Pen-y-ghent (2,277 ft).

Then, on Sunday, September 9, he hosts a tattoo convention, at Thornaby Aerodrome, from 10am until late.

A week after that, Ian, who lives in Billingham, and a number of colleagues will tackle the 13-mile Great North Run from Newcastle to South Shields.

The dad to two-year-old Ava Richardson set up the memorial fund to help children who have lost loved ones.

Anyone wanting to support the charity should visit www.joandmya.co.uk