Hundreds cheer two Hartlepool heroes across the Miles for Men finish line

It was an emotional day as hundreds turned out to see two Hartlepool heroes cross the finish line at the Miles for Men.

Sunday, 29th July 2018, 4:46 pm
Updated Sunday, 29th July 2018, 4:52 pm
Little Dottie O'Keefe  crosses the finish line.
Little Dottie O'Keefe crosses the finish line.

The annual run took place at Seaton Carew and despite the rain hundreds flocked to the seafront both to take part and to cheer on the runners.

There were tears of joy when two brave people, Dotty O’Keefe and Tommy Fletcher, got out of their wheelchairs to triumphantly walk across the finish line.

Little Dottie O'Keefe crosses the finish line.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Just four months ago, four-year-old Dotty, who has cerebral palsy, had an operation to her spine to help her walk, after Miles for Men raised £18,000 towards the surgery.

The youngster was pushed around the majority of the course in her wheelchair by members of her family, but got out to walk the last few metres as the crowds cheered and chanted ‘Dotty, Dotty’.

Tommy, who is battling terminal cancer, was determined that nothing was going to stop him taking part in the Miles for Men and Walk for Women event.

Miles For Men has helped Tommy to marry his partner Jacky Wilkinson and also to meet his wrestling idol Daniel Bryan and he wanted to give something back to the charity.

Tommy Fletcher (right) finished the race with help from organiser Stephen Picton.

The 49-year-old was pushed around the 5k course by one of the charity’s organisers, Stephen Picton, but was determined to walk over the finish line.

For the first time this year a Gun Run was held prior to the main race with members of the 88 Arracan Battery Royal Artillery pulling a two tonne gun around the route.

Michael Day, who founded the Miles for Men charity in 2012, said the day was an amazing success despite the poor weather.

He said: “Obviously the weather was a bit disappointing, but you just have to get one with it.

And they're off for the Miles for Men.

“It was an amazing turn out. We couldn’t do what we do without the support of everyone.”

Michael said they will keep on fundraising.

Some donned fancy dress for the event.
A bit of rain couldn't stop the runners.