A FATHER from North Tyneside is calling on runners from across the region to join him in a new event to raise funds for the NSPCC and celebrate the memory of his late daughter.

Paul Harris, from Whitley Bay, is an avid runner and set up an Ultra Marathon and children’s fun run in memory of his daughter Caoimhe, who died at the age of two from a bacterial infection.

Paul has organised the Caoimhe Ultra Special 50km event as his latest incredible fundraising challenge – following triathlons, races and the London Marathon – in support of the NSPCC. He has raised more than £78,000 for the children’s charity since Caoimhe’s death in 2011.

Paul said: “We still miss Caoimhe deeply, and on a daily basis. The fundraising I’ve done for the NSPCC over the last 11 years has been a way to help keep her memory alive while also supporting vulnerable children across the UK.

“This is by far the biggest event I’ve set up, and the logistics have been a real eye-opener. It’s been a challenge, but I’m hoping that I’ll see a good crowd taking part on the day and it’ll all be worthwhile.”

The Ultra Special is a 4-lap run across mixed terrain around Whitley Bay, Seaton Sluice and Holywell Dene. Each lap is approximately 12.5km, and starts and finishes at the clubhouse for North Shields Polytechnic.

Paul has also organised races for under-15s and under-9s on the day as well, each comprising four laps of the running track at North Shields Polytechnic – a total distance of one mile.

He said he hoped the event would be something that would be fun for families as well as seasoned runners, with team places also available, and urged anyone interested to sign up as soon as possible.

Paul said: “It’s taking place on Father’s Day, June 19, right next to the Monkseaton Metro station and Whitley Bay is right there on the doorstep, so it’s a great opportunity for kids to take their dads out for an ice-cream after the race.

“I’m hugely grateful to everyone who’s helped us raise more than £78,000 in Caoimhe’s memory, but if anyone reading this fancies taking on a running challenge and wants to sign up, it’d be amazing to see them there and take that total a little higher. Entry to the children’s races cost just £4, meaning each runner could pay for Childline to answer a call from a young person who desperately needs support.”

Hayley Lynn, NSPCC Community Fundraiser, said: “Paul has been an incredible fundraiser for the NSPCC, and we’re hugely grateful for his efforts to support children and young people across the UK.

“As a charity, we rely on public donations for the majority of our funding, so having someone like Paul so dedicated to supporting us is an amazing boost. Every £4 raised could pay for a phone call to be answered by Childline, so if you’re able to take part, or if you’d just like to donate in support of Paul’s fantastic work, you could make a real difference to the life of a child.”

To find out more or book a place at the adults run, click here, or for information about the children’s races, click here.

For information on how you can support the NSPCC through donations, volunteering or sharing our messaging, go to www.nspcc.org.uk.

Keep up to date with all the latest news on our website, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

You can also follow our dedicated County Durham Facebook page for all the latest in the area by clicking here.

For all the top news updates from right across the region straight to your inbox, sign up to our newsletter here.

Have you got a story for us? Contact our newsdesk on newsdesk@nne.co.uk or contact 01325 505054