'I was absolutely elated when I crossed the finishing line': Diane Stephens digs in for Heugh Battery Museum by completing Great North Run

She’s done it! Heugh Battery Museum manager Diane Stephens completed the Great North Run, although she admits it wasn’t easy.

Friday, 13th September 2019, 7:00 am
Manager of the Heugh Battery Museum, Diane Stephens, in the Sabaton T-shirt she wore in the Great North Run. Sales of the T-shirts raised £4,000 for the museum.

Diane’s aim was to raise money for the museum by competing in the half-marathon, which ended in her home town of South Shields. She was inspired to try the race by the fundraising efforts of supporters, who have raised thousands of pounds for the museum on the Headland.

The UK’s only First World War battlefield site was in danger of closing earlier this year before a successful fundraising campaign was launched and supported by the Mail’s Battery Charge campaign.

Diane ran in a T-shirt designed by Swedish metal band Sabaton, sales of which raised over £4,000 for the museum. So far she has raised almost another £300 with more to come.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Diane Stephens is on the left of this picture. With three miles of the Great North Run to go, her position in the race is made clear.

She said the race was tough and by the time Mo Farah had won the race, Diane was still waiting to cross the starting line.

However, she concedes that even without this handicap she probably wouldn’t have beaten him anyway. She came home in 4:18:29 in 42,870th place – but finishing was all that mattered.

Diane said: “I wasn’t last; although I was for a short time. It was very long and arduous.

“I stopped to go to the toilet on the south side of the Tyne Bridge, and when I came out everyone had gone.

The Great North Run was tough for Diane. But she has the medal to prove she finished it.

“There’s a bus that picks people up who can’t finish: and the driver was taunting me. My husband Andy was waiting for me at the end, but he almost went home.

“I was absolutely elated when I crossed the finishing line. I was so chuffed that I’d actually done it. I’m the wrong side of 50 and the wrong weight, shape and size.

“But I made it to the end and I don’t have to do it again.

“It was one of the funniest days I’ve ever had. And I met lots of lovely people who had some wonderful stories.”

You can sponsor Diane at the Heugh Battery Museum Appeal page on justgiving.com.