Tragic dad joins Mail campaign

Ian Richardson with the Hartlepool Mail Race for fitness poster
Ian Richardson with the Hartlepool Mail Race for fitness poster

A TRAGIC dad has become the latest backer for the Hartlepool Mail’s Race For Fitness campaign.

Ian Richardson, 38, who is a Hartlepool businessman and Billingham resident, threw himself into fundraising after losing his wife, Joanne, 40, and eldest daughter Mya, aged six, in a car accident in August 2010.

He has already raised £25,000 for the charity he formed in memory of Joanne and Mya and is planning more events this year.

On top of that, Ian won an Award For Inspiration in the Mail’s first Pride of Hartlepool Awards in March last year.

And he has been provisionally chosen to carry the Olympic Flame this summer.

Today Ian, who has a younger daughter Ava, aged one, took time from his busy schedule to back Race For Fitness after revealing he was in training himself for challenges which include September’s Great North Run.

We want to hear from at least 2,012 people in Hartlepool and east Durham who plan to spend this year improving their health.

It doesn’t have to be a Herculean challenge. The most important thing is that you take part in our Race For Fitness project.

Ian said: “It is not hard to make changes to your life. You cut down on processed food, take a stroll along the beach, or walk instead of getting the bus.

“And instead of lying in bed for ages, or just sitting and watching the television, you could get up and do some exercise.

“Once you experience the thrill of making a change, you will want to do more of it.

“Joanne and I always used to go walking with Mya. We did things as a family.”

Our campaign has already attracted dozens of followers including Lord Sebastian Coe, former Olympian Fatima Whitbread, professional middle distance runner Ricky Stevenson and Hartlepool Olympic hopeful Savannah Marshall.

But we need more backers and we are calling on the people of Hartlepool and east Durham to come forward, and make a change for the better - however small.

Contact Chris Cordner by writing to him at New Clarence House, Wesley