Great North Run 2021: Meet some of this year's runners and find out how to support them

This year’s Great North Run is now just days away.

Friday, 3rd September 2021, 12:55 pm

For the first time in the event’s 40-year history, the iconic half marathon will not finish in South Shields due to Covid controls put in place to keep both participants and spectators safe.

Instead, thousands of runners will start and finish their 13-mile challenge in Newcastle.

The famous race raises millions each year for good causes, and we wanted to shout about some of the good causes YOU are supporting at the event in 2021.

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That finish line feeling!

We put a call out on our social media channels to ask readers who they were running for.

Here are some of their stories.

Keith Marshall, running for Prostate Cancer UK. Here’s where to donate.

Are you taking part in this year's Great North Run?

He said: “Coming up from Hampshire/Wiltshire to run in memory of my brother-in-law Bill Joyce, who sadly passed away in November. Fundraising for Prostate Cancer UK.”

Veronica Sweeting, running for Columbia Grange School. Here’s where to donate.

She said: “I'm running for Columbia Grange School, associated with Sunderland Autism Outreach team. A fantastic charity very close to my heart.”

Alan Smurthwaite, running for Tommy’s. Here’s where to donate.

Good luck to everyone running for a good cause.

He said: “The charity is who I'm doing this for, even if it meant me running up and down my street or staircase to get the 13.1 miles done, then so be it.”

Ashlee Marie, running for Lupus UK. Here’s where to donate.

She said: “Doing the GNR for the first time in memory of my Dad, who passed away suddenly in 2017 from Lupus.”

Samantha Jane, running for Cancer Research UK. Here’s where to donate.

Cheering on the runners!

She said: “I’ve chosen to run in aid of Cancer Research UK, as unfortunately cancer has affected myself and my loved ones many times over the years, and again more recently.”

Dom McDonald, running for the Stroke Association. Here’s where to donate.

He said: “It's been three years now since me and my family lost Dad. Dad was always a good charitable man willing to help anyone in need.”

Andrew Clough, running for Huntington's Disease Association. Here's where to donate.

He said: “I'm running for Huntington's Disease Association, trying to raise as much awareness and funds for this great charity that supports thousands with this rare and devastating disease.”

Suzy Louise, running for Newcastle Hospitals Charity. Here’s where to donate.

She said: I’m running for the Great North Children’s Hospital to help kids like my son who is battling leukaemia, my son and daughter are also doing the junior run.”

Charlie Stephenson, running for 4Louis. Here’s where to donate.

She said: “4Louis helped my brother and my sister-in-law when they were at their most vulnerable and at the lowest point on their lives, I cannot thank them enough.”

Lorraine Bell, running for Target Ovarian Cancer. Here’s where to donate.

She said: “I’m doing my first run this year and my five-year-old daughter is doing the mini run, raising funds and awareness for Target Ovarian Cancer in memory of my sister.”

John Winship and Jane Henderson, running for Bright Red. Here’s where to donate.

John said: “We lost our dad just over two years ago to multiple myeloma and wanted to help out the charity that helped him.”

Laura Hall, running for Mesothelioma UK. Here’s where to donate.

She said: “I’m running for Mesothelioma UK, who were amazing in supporting my Dad after his diagnosis and before he passed in March 2020.”

Abby Oliver, running for Parkinson’s UK. Here’s where to donate.

She said: “This is in memory of my grandad, John Warwick. When he had Parkinson’s he did everything in his power to try and make it better for people in the future that get diagnosed.”

Megan Boyd, running for Epilepsy Action. Here’s where to donate.

She said: “I am running my first ever GNR for Epilepsy Action in memory of my lovely friend Kate.”

Lily Oak Hannington, running for Tommy’s. Here’s where to donate.

She said: “After seeing several friends deal with the heartbreak losing babies, and the constant emotional rollercoster of having a baby come early, I'm running for the first time as part of team Tommy's.”

Mark McNeill, running for Epilepsy Action. Here’s where to donate.

He said: “This is my 4th GNR for charity and I’m doing it for Epilepsy Action after a friend of mine sadly passed away in 2019.”

Sammi Kay, running for Newcastle Hospitals Charity. Here’s where to donate.

She said: “I’m running for the Great North Children’s Hospital at the RVI, to show gratitude for everything they’ve done for my little boy in the last seven years and continue to do so.”

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