Dancing Jeff on the run

Jeff Drake in training for his run on the Olympic marathon course
Jeff Drake in training for his run on the Olympic marathon course

A FUNDRAISER well known to charity supporters for his dancing moves laced up his trainers and ran on the Olympic marathon course.

Jeff Drake, 53, is a popular face among regular fundraisers for Hartlepool & District Hospice as his dance moves are the highlight of the warm up for the charity’s annual Moonlight Walk.

But as well as taking to the stage for his role at the popular event, Jeff who is an inspector in the Special Constabulary in Hartlepool and a longtime fundraiser for the hospice, decided he wanted to do even more for the cause this year and signed up for the BUPA London 10k run.

The race, which was held prior to this year’s Olympic Games in the city, took in a section of the marathon course, which would later be ran on by the world’s best road runners.

And after counting up his sponsorship money, Jeff handed over £1,250 to the Wells Avenue-based hospice.

“It was a brilliant day and a great spectacle,” said Jeff, who works as a site information co-ordinator at Huntsman Tioxide.

“It was very hot which made it tough, but there was thousands of runners and twice as many supporters, the whole day was fantastic.”

The dad of Jonathan, 23, Robert, 21, and David, 18, added: “It was surreal running and thinking the world’s elite runners were going to be running on the same course, a great experience.”

Jeff revealed he was only hoping to raise £400, so he was absolutely delighted to collect more than treble that figure.

“I would like to thank everyone who supported me,” he added.

Jeff, who lives in Richmond, was back on stage dancing at this year’s Moonlight Walk, which was held earlier this month.

He said: “I always enjoy showing my support for the Moonlight Walk.

“I hope my warming up routine was as widely appreciated this year as it was last time!”

Greg Hildreth, the hospice’s events fundraiser, said: “It was a tremendous result for Jeff to raise as much as he did by taking part in the raise and I would like to thank and congratulate him on doing such a fantastic job.

“It was also brilliant to see Jeff again at the Moonlight Walk, and he didn’t disappoint.”