Hartlepool runners tackling 24-hour challenge to help men at risk of suicide

A 24-hour run is underway as a team works to help men at risk of suicide - one stride at a time.

Sunday, 1st December 2019, 8:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 3rd December 2019, 3:54 pm

Run Fit Hartlepool is leading the effort, which launched at 2pm yesterday, Saturday, November 30, in Summerhill Country Park.

Three runners, club leader Andrew Lilley and members Yolander Cox and Steven Kearney, will be taking on their own solo challenge, while another 45 people have formed eight relay teams.

They are completing as many loops of the 1.3 mile route through the park as possible during the challenge.

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Start of the 24-hour relay run in aid of men's mental health charity, Calm, at Summerhill Country Park, Hartlepool.
Start of the 24-hour relay run in aid of men's mental health charity, Calm, at Summerhill Country Park, Hartlepool.

The plan is for all the runners to come together at around 1.30pm today to complete the last lap together, with the funds raised to be gifted to Calm, the Campaign Against Living Miserably, which aims to take a stand against suicide, which is the single biggest killer of men aged under 45, with 18 deaths a day.

Andrew said: “The running group is for anyone in Hartlepool and we have children from four to our eldest member who is around 70.

“We meet most nights a week and the sessions are for anybody to come along and join in, you don’t have to be experienced, it’s for everyone in the community, and we also have after school clubs.

“There was a couple of male suicides, people who we knew through running circles, and we wanted to do a community event to raise money for the charity Calm.

A total of 48 runners will be taking part in the run around the parkland.

“We thought this is the opportunity for us to raise some funds and awareness of male suicide.

“We’ve got mams, dads, aunts, uncles, grans and grandads all taking part, which is so good.

“It’s amazing, absolutely amazing, and we’ve been doing this for five years now and it’s been growing in support and for each other and this charity is close to our hearts and this has given everybody a chance to have the opportunity to help.”

More information about the group can be found via its Facebook page facebook.com/Hartlepoolrunfit/ with runs held across the area and posted on the page to keep people up to date with plans.

The runners will cover a 1.3 mile route around of Summerhill Country Park as part of the challenge.
People of all abilities have signed up to take part in the run.