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Ferryhill friends inspired to raise money for two charities
THREE men are about to complete a gruelling year long charity mission inspired by a late friend.
Andrew Heaviside, Stephen Buston and James Latcham set themselves a 321 challenge - three men, supporting two charities by running and cycling one million metres.
Throughout 2013 the trio, who all live in Ferryhill, have completed a series of runs and rides which end with the Saltwell Park 10k, in Gateshead, on Saturday, December 21.
Along the way they have raised sponsor money for two charities close to their hearts- the Brain Tumour Charity in memory of good friend Phil Stephenson and Leukemia and Lymphoma Research as another friend's son is currently fighting leukemia.
Between the three of them they have already ran 1,393,332m which included the Great North Run, for which they were joined by about nine friends, and the Coast 2 Coast bike ride.
And they have raised more than £10,000 to share between the two charities.
Electrician Mr Heaviside, 35, council solicitor Mr Buston, 34, and 36-year-old James Latcham, who works for a bank, can be sponsored on the website virginmoneygiving.com by searching for challenge 321 and their names.
Mr Stephenson, a married father of two boys- Aaron, five, and Reece, two, died almost a year ago aged 34.
He had a cancerous brain tumour for six years and underwent brain surgery and chemotherapy twice.
Wife Lynsey, of Ferryhill, said: "Phil was an amazing person, not just as a husband and dad, but he was a runner himself and after diagnosis ran many runs.
"He never missed a Great North Run and he ran the London marathon a little over a year after his first operation in 3 hours 42 minutes and was disappointed with his time.
"I'm very proud of what Phil did and the efforts of his three friends is a massive achievement and was a big commitment, I thank them on behalf of our family and the charities."
Mr Heaviside and Mr Stephenson were best man for each other at their weddings.
He said: "Phil was very much into running so we thought this was the best way to do something for him and both these charities which mean so much to us all. I think he'd be over the moon. "
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