Dancing bobby to run Olympic course

Special Sgt Jeff Drake at the start of the annual Midnight Walk event
Special Sgt Jeff Drake at the start of the annual Midnight Walk event

A DANCING policeman is set to step foot on the official Olympic marathon course in support of a town cause.

The moves of Special Sergeant Jeff Drake are well known to supporters of Hartlepool & District Hospice. For the 53-year-old takes to the stage to dance and help with the mass warm up ahead of the annual Midnight Walk event.

Jeff, who works as a site information co-ordinator at Huntsman Tioxide, in Tees Road, and has completed marathons and half-marathons in the past, hasn’t actually been able to take part in the event due to knee problems which have kept him out of action for the last four years.

But the dad-of-three is set to lace up his trainers once more as he takes part in the Bupa 10k race in London next month.

The event, which takes place on Sunday, May 27, takes in iconic landmarks in the capital including a section of the Olympic marathon route ready for the world’s finest athletes later this year.

“Even though I haven’t been able to run I still go to the gym all of the time and keep fit,” said Jeff, a dad of Jonathan, 23, Robert, 21, and David, 18.

“As soon as I saw this event organised I knew it was time to come out of running retirement and give it a go again.”

Jeff, who lives in Ingleby Barwick, has already started training for the event and says he is up to 40 minutes of running.

He has already raised more than £1,000 for the Wells Avenue-based hospice and is hoping to boost that total even more before the starting gun goes off.

Greg Hildreth, events and community facilitator at the hospice, said: “Jeff’s a great guy with a great sense of fun and we were really pleased to hear about his plans to represent the hospice in this event.

“He’s always a pleasure to be around and is a great ambassador for our charity.

“On behalf of everyone at the hospice, I would like to thank him and wish him the best of luck.”

To sponsor Jeff in the run visit www.justgiving.com/Jeff-Drake.

There are still limited places available to run in the event for the hospice.

To secure a spot call Greg Hildreth on (01429) 855529 or email ghildreth@hartlepoolhospice.co.uk.