Sea of lilac as hundreds take part in Miles for Men and Walk for Women in Hartlepool

A sea of lilac brightened the overcast skies in Hartlepool as hundreds of people took part in the Miles for Men and Walk for Women event.

By Tony Gillan
Sunday, 28 July, 2019, 17:18
And they're off! The start of the 2019 Miles for Men and Walk for Women at Seaton Carew.

It is seventh time the charity race has taken place, with the event taking on an extra significance this year for founder Micky Day.

His daughter Demi Leigh Day succumbed to a brain tumour in December 2018 aged just 21.

Serious runners and strollers alike donned lilac t-shirts, Demi’s favourite colour, to complete the 5K course in Seaton Carew, where organisers hoped to raise £10,000 for cancer charities and community projects.

Miles for Men founder and dad of Demi, Micky Day, with other daughters Tori, 15 and Mikaela, two.

Micky walked the course with his other daughters Tori, 15 and Mikaela, two.

He said: “It’s our seventh year. I never thought we’d come this far. It’s all down to the local communities and local companies; especially TMD Friction who support us massively.

“It means a lot to me, obviously with the run being in Demi’s memory.

“We’re all in lilac today. It looks absolutely amazing. It’s one big family day. Miles for Men is one big family and that’s why people support us week in, week out. We’re just trying to make a difference.

Demi Day lost her battle with cancer in December 2018 aged just 21. This years event was in her honour.

He added: “I’d like to say a massive thank you to everybody who’s come today; and the Hartlepool Mail who’ve been beside us since 2012 when we started. I had thousands of messages of support after losing Demi.

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“You’ve got people here who have got cancer, people in remission and other people who are suffering. It’s an unbelievable turnout.”

Many entrants had deeply personal reasons for taking part, including Burn Road Harrier and race winner Lee Kitching. He dedicated his victory to friend Craig Coupe, who died from cancer in 2018, aged 39.

Lee said: “It’s brilliant to win. But it’s the taking part on a day like this. The people who organised this are the real winners.”

Winner Lee Kitching (centre) with runner up, best friend and fellow Burn Road Harrier, Anthony Wilson (left) and third placed Jamie Bolton (right).

High Tunstall pupil Luke Wolfe, said: “Last year I ran for my granddad’s two brothers who died of cancer. It’s good to raise money here today.”

Dyke House student, Peter Tunney, 13, said: “I’m running for charity because I know people who have had cancer.”

Colleen Robinson, 35, from Stockton said: “It’s a good cause and a good family day out. We get to spend time together and support something that needs more focus I think.”

Stockton athlete Colleen Robinson ran with her family.
Runner Peter Tunney, 13, knows people who have had cancer.