The Great North Run is a race that needs no introduction. This half marathon that winds its way through Newcastle-Upon-Tyne and towards the North Sea is second only to the London Marathon in the UK, and is renowned worldwide. And amongst the 57 thousand that jostled at the start line this year was our very own Mikey Norton.
It is safe to say that Mikey is no stranger to charitable causes. He can regularly be found volunteering at the Feed Leicester, an initiative which takes surplus supplies from local businesses, redistributing them to the city’s homeless. However, it seems that being a modern-day Robin Hood is not where it ends for Mikey.
No, for Mikey the next step was to sign up for the Great North Run and raise money for a charity that is very close to his heart: The South Tees Hospitals Trust Charity.
Experts in heart disease, the Trust reached out to a hospital in Ghana, sending a team of specialist consultants and equipment for a week earlier this year. The mission was such a success, with the completion of nine surgeries, that the Trust is looking to send them again in October. One surgeon noted that “it was such a privilege to work alongside our Ghanaian colleagues – we learnt so much from them [and] we are looking forward to building a long term sustainable partnership.”
Of course, such programmes do not happen for free. The March mission alone took £30,000 of donations to get off the ground, and they will need nearly as much again to get the next trip underway. It is for this cause that Mikey undertook the grueling Great North Run.
Though in a typically optimistic fashion, Mikey recalled that though it was warm out (We checked the internet, it was a balmy 18 degrees!) and the start was a little nerve-wracking, the atmosphere and community could not have been better. “[My] favourite bit was everyone handing out oranges and ice lollies along the way,” he remembered, no doubt appreciatively.
We’re very proud to report that not only did Mikey ace the race in a tidy 2 hours 3 minutes, but he also raised £330 for the South Tees Hospital Trust! And this is not the end of the story. Mikey aims to go back, shave twenty minutes off his time and undoubtedly raise more money for another excellent cause. Watch this space!