A tireless fundraiser running 10,000 miles in a year for a North East cancer charity has issued a plea for support after receiving abuse in his home town.
Paul Suggitt, 37, began the Walk/Run/Ride Challenge on January 1 in aid of the Chris Lucas Trust which raises money for research into an aggressive form of teenage cancer.
Paul is racking up the miles on foot and on bike in his free time and on weekends which often takes him all over the country.
But since the nights have got lighter, Paul says he has encountered growing abuse from some people while on the streets of Hartlepool.
His colourful hat attracted a barrage of swearing from a group of young men while running recently.
He tracks his progress live on Facebook and Twitter, often recording himself while he runs.
I think it’s really sad that some people in our town are doing thatPaul Suggitt
Paul, of Deer Park, said: “I think it’s really sad that some people in our town are doing that.
“I’m a big lad but I felt a bit threatened. It was uncomfortable. “I’m a local lad trying to do good for a charity and basically put Hartlepool on the map.
“There is people all over the world watching this challenge on Facebook. When things like that happen it puts us in a bad light.”
Paul said his multi-coloured hat has become his trademark and serves as a good introduction to what he is doing.
“I’m known for wearing a variety of hats, I’ve got a massive collection,” he said.
“This particular hat is my adventure hat. I have had it for years and it has been all over the world with me.
“It has become a talking point and opens doors for me to explain what the charity is and leads to donations.”
He stressed the majority of people in town have been incredibly supportive.
When he called in to the Nursery Inn pub in Hart Lane while running one night to use their toilet, customers and staff made him welcome and sent him off with a big cheer.
Paul, a website and app designer, said: “That’s the other side of the coin. The majority of people are really good and stop me for selfies.”
He has reached almost a third of his 10,000 mile target already, and last week he completed another 150 miles in only three days going from Skegness to Great Yarmouth.
The Chris Lucas Trust raises money for research into rhabdomyosarcoma.
Paul, a dad of two, has raised money and awareness for the charity in the past.