Men go the extra mile to help cancer charity on its way to major cash target

A running total could help tip a charity into reaching a mammoth milestone - and it’s all thanks to the kindest of Hartlepool’s people.

Today saw more than 500 competitors pound the pavement as the fifth Miles for Men 5k race took fundraisers on a route through Seaton Carew was followed by the first ever Walk for Women.

There were cheers as runners began the Miles for Men course.

There were cheers as runners began the Miles for Men course.

Last year’s event raised around £25,000, with the organisers hopeful the weekend’s celebration will help them meet the £200,000 milestone.

Michael Day, who founded the charity after the death of his father, also called Michael, from throat cancer in 2007.

He said: “We hope we will reach the £200,000 mark, which I think will be a great achievement in four years.

“We’re only five people in this charity and we all work, and it will be a fantastic achievement, given we were only thinking about hitting £5,000 when we started out.

We’ve got lot of people to thank, but especially the people of Hartlepool.

Michael Day

“As soon as January comes, it’s seven months of hard work, it’s endless, and there’s everything else as well.

“It’s amazing really, from one idea, that this has all happened.

“We’ve got lot of people to thank, but especially the people of Hartlepool.

“All these events that sell out and it’s often the people with the least who give the most.”

MILES FOR MEN AND WALK FOR WOMEN 2016 .Picture by Joe Spence

MILES FOR MEN AND WALK FOR WOMEN 2016 .Picture by Joe Spence

He urged runners to get their sponsorship money in as soon as possible, with the men’s cash to help Hartlepool & District Hospice while Walk for Women will support both the hospice and Miles for Men.

The men’s race was started by four-year-old Leyton Anderson, who is being treated for leukaemia, with Ellie Mae Waugh also on hand to help, and special mentions given to Blackhall youngster Bradley Lowery, who is fighting his second battle against cancer.

Andrew Campion, father of Mason, five, who died in June, also addressed the huge crowd before the main event.

Two hundred people signed up to take part on the day, following on from 245 men in advance and 97 women for the walk.

MILES FOR MEN AND WALK FOR WOMEN 2016 .Picture by Joe Spence

MILES FOR MEN AND WALK FOR WOMEN 2016 .Picture by Joe Spence

Julie Hildreth, senior fundraiser of the hospice, said: “It costs us £2.5million every year to run the hospice and this will go straight into patient care.

“We are overwhelmed with the support from Miles for Men.”

MILES FOR MEN AND WALK FOR WOMEN 2016 .Picture by Joe Spence

MILES FOR MEN AND WALK FOR WOMEN 2016 .Picture by Joe Spence

Entrants in the Miles for Men event that was held at Seaton Carew.

Entrants in the Miles for Men event that was held at Seaton Carew.

Entrants in the Miles for Men event that was held at Seaton Carew.

Entrants in the Miles for Men event that was held at Seaton Carew.

Runners head over the start line at the 5k Miles for Men event.

Runners head over the start line at the 5k Miles for Men event.