Runner back to complete charity challenge

Charity fundraisers Paul Stainthorpe (right, black/orange top) and Lee Nyland take part in the final leg of their running challenge at the Riverside Park in Chester-le-Street.

Charity fundraisers Paul Stainthorpe (right, black/orange top) and Lee Nyland take part in the final leg of their running challenge at the Riverside Park in Chester-le-Street.

First published in News
Last updated
The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter (Derwentside & Tyneside)

A RUNNER who collapsed before finishing 12 Park Runs in one day has pulled his running shoes on once again to complete the challenge.

Paul Stainthorpe’s legs buckled beneath him on his 11th 5km run just before Christmas.

But yesterday, (Saturday, January 5) the 34-year-old from Newton Hall, Durham City, was at the Riverside Park in Chester-le-Street to tick off his last run.

He was joined by fellow graphic designer Lee Nyland, 33, from Brandon, near Durham City, who also ran with him on Saturday, December 20, and more than 20 family and friends for the final leg.

He said: “It went really well and it is all sorted now. It is just a little run, but, psychologically, we both feel that the challenge is done and dusted now.”

The pair had been running in parks across the North-East from 5am originally to raise money for Tiny Lives at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, in Newcastle.

They were about to head for Chester-le-Street, for their final run when Mr Stainthorpe collapsed.

Mr Stainthorpe was put on a drip, but allowed to go home later that evening.

The event has raised more than £1,300 for the charity, more three times the original target.

He said: “Lee was saying that he was overwhelmed by the support we have had recently. It was an official Park Run on Saturday and we had family and friends who came to join us.

"The amount we have raised has been amazing so Tiny Lives are really pleased with that.”

They initially started the challenge at Blackhill, near Consett, at 5am before running in Shildon, Sedgefield, Darlington, Tees Barrage, two parks in Middlesbrough, Sunderland, South Shields and Newcastle.

They abandoned plans to run at Saltwell Park, in Gateshead, because it closes at dusk, but plan to return to run the park for fun in the next month.

Last year, Mr Stainthorpe was dubbed Father Fitness as he raised about £1,000 after completing his 12 Days of Christmas running challenge.

The father-of-two ran at locations relevant to the gifts given on each day in the song for the Percy Hedley Foundation, which works with disabled children.

To support the 12 Parks challenge, go to justgiving.com/the12parkrunsofchristmas

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