How Michael made miles of difference

Michael Day organiser of  the "Miles For Men" event to be held on Sunday 19th August 2012.  Picture by FRANK REID
Michael Day organiser of the "Miles For Men" event to be held on Sunday 19th August 2012. Picture by FRANK REID

INSPIRATIONAL Michael Day is a humble but proud fundraiser.

This time last year, the 39-year-old was the brainchild behind Hartlepool’s first Miles for Men event – a male-only charity fun run.

He hoped 300 people would turn up and raise around £7,000 to be shared between Hartlepool & District Hospice and Cancer Research UK.

But Michael’s efforts caught the imagination of a caring town public. One thousand people took part in the first-ever Miles For Men run and they raised £40,000.

Now, the run is back for a second year in Hartlepool and two others are planned in Newcastle and Liverpool.

And the project’s success has also seen Michael receive two nominations in this year’s Pride of Hartlepool Awards in the fundraiser of the year category.

Shauna Brazell said: “Michael has done a lot for Hartlepool. In all, Miles For Men has raised something like £40,000 or more for charity and has helped other charities as well. Michael is definitely worthy of an award.”

Gary Wilson was one of the men who ran that poignant first race last year.

He said: “To see this many people taking part in an event’s first year was unreal. I have competed locally, nationally and internationally in my sport of triathlon, but the atmosphere and emotion at this race was second to none.”

Yet despite his nomination, Michael was still keen to pass on the praise to others. He said: “Yes it is amazing to be nominated and to get the support of the people of Hartlepool but I am just a normal person.

“I have met the families who have suffered and they are overwhelming. I don’t do this to receive awards. I do it because it is a cause close to my heart.”

Single dad of three Michael, of Innes Road, arranged the event in memory of his dad, Michael Day senior, who died five years ago aged 68 after a one-year battle with throat cancer.

Michael becomes the latest in an ever-growing list of worthy causes to be nominated for the Pride of Hartlepool Awards.

It is split into ten categories and is still open for nominations.

Whether you know a fantastic fundraiser or a community stalwart, we want to hear all about those who deserve praise and have done something special.

Simply fill in the form on this page and send it to us or enter online or on tablet by following the links.

Details of how to get them to us are on the nomination form. The deadline for entries is February 27.

Anyone wanting further information about the Pride of Hartlepool Awards should contact the Mail’s deputy editor, Gavin Foster, on (01429) 239372 or email gavin.foster@jpress.co.uk