Longridge heroes of Great North Run

Nathan Forshaw with Charlotte Gardner and  Connie Cornthwaite.
Nathan Forshaw with Charlotte Gardner and Connie Cornthwaite.

The Great North Run attracted more than 57,000 runners and amongst the throng pounding the streets of Newcastle and Gateshead could be found at least three contigencies from our area; also raising funds for worthy causes.

Longridge sisters Sue Berry and Gail Marle finished the race in two hours 23 mins; the pair running side by side all the way.

Sue Berry and Gail Marle in the frame after completing the Great North Run

Sue Berry and Gail Marle in the frame after completing the Great North Run

Sue says they both had a good run and were proud of their finishing time, as they had each picked up injuries during training.

Sunday’s heat had been another factor to contend with, and she described it as “quite intense at times”.

She said: “We’ve raised over £700 for The Alzheimer’s Society which is very close to our hearts, with money still coming in.

“Highlight of the run was Bob from Emmerdale wishing us luck and high fiving Jo Pavey at the start line.

Highlight of the run was Bob from Emmerdale wishing us luck and high fiving Jo Pavey at the start line

Sue Berry

“We’d like to thank family, friends, neighbours and work colleagues for all their words of support and sponsorship.”

Three members of Young Farmers’ Clubs also completed the half marathon, raising funds for the mental health charity MIND.

For Charlotte Gardner and Nathan Forshaw, who are both members of Longridge YFC and Connie Cornthwaite from Bilsborrow YFC, this was the first time any of them had attempted such an event and they were said to be thrilled to complete the course with respectable times.

Also, anyone who would like to support their cause can still donate through their Just Giving page www.justgiving.com/Connie-Cornthwaite.

Jenna Jackson and her grandad John Spencer from Longridge with their medals

Jenna Jackson and her grandad John Spencer from Longridge with their medals

It was a grandfather and grandaughter duo from Longridge with an age difference of 53 years between them who had the same aim - to complete their Great North runs in the best time possible! And although grandad John Spencer’s time at 3hrs2 this year was over other times reached during his 16 years entering the run, his nine year old grandaughter Jenna - who has missed just one of the Saturday 2.5 mile mini and junior-runs since she was four - clocked up her best time of 23mins4 last Saturday.

“It was the best!” she says, “I ran on my own [having run with parents Rob and Julia before] and could have done it all again!”

This time, Julia in a blue Great Run t-shirt, saw her daughter off with brother three year old Patrick. Both youngsters were in the yellow and blue colours of the Down Syndrome Association, Jenna’s charity as her little brother has the condition. “I had tears in my eyes as she took off on her own,” says Julia.

But the reward for two days a week training with grandad the 2.5 mile race route was worth it, both runners agreed. With lots of sponsorship from family, friends, neighbours, the PO sorting office where Julia works, 1st Longridge Brownies and her school, Alston Lane RC primary, Jenna has so far raised more then £500.

And for grandad John, more than £200 with money still coming in has been his reward for the Sierra Leone skillcentre, a scheme for training young adults he has been helping since 2006.