Football writer, George Caulkin, is one of our most dedicated Patrons.
He supports our charity in any way he can and this year, to celebrate our 10th anniversary, he decided to undertake a personal running challenge to help raise funds – 10 runs for 10 years.
George on the final stretch of the London Marathon
George has already completed seven of his planned runs, including the Paris and London Marathons, despite injury, difficult weather conditions and a hectic work schedule, and has just received confirmation that he will be finishing his challenge in November with the New York Marathon.
It is a run he has not attempted before and it is an exciting, if daunting, prospect and a great way to round off a very special year of fundraising, which has already raised over £3,000.
George, who is originally from Durham and now lives in Newcastle, says: “Running is a great way to stay fit, it helps keep me relatively sane and I thought this would be a fun and challenging way to mark the Foundation’s 10th birthday. It has definitely been challenging!
“Mentally and physically, there have been some real highs and lows and I’ve been fretting about calf and knee problems, but I’m determined to get through it. Getting into New York is incredible and nerve-wracking, but the thought of representing Bobby there is very special. I’m so grateful for all the support and sponsorship. It means everything.”
George’s next run is easily his favourite, the Great North Run. He will one of almost 100 runners on Sir Bobby’s ‘last and greatest team’, who are undertaking the famous 13.1 mile route from Newcastle to South Shields to raise money for our Foundation.
George with his London Marathon finisher’s medal
As ever, the runners will be welcomed at the end of the race by Sir Bobby’s family and friends who are providing refreshments in the Charity Village tent.
George says: “I ran the Great North Run for the first time in the year of Sir Bobby’s death and was blown away by the emotion and camaraderie of the event, which is a showcase of everything brilliant about our region.
“A decade later, being part of the best day of the North East calendar is still an overwhelming, beautiful experience and I’d recommend it to anybody. I always cry when I cross the line, because I associate it with him, but there’s pride and happiness in those tears, as well as sadness. Bobby would be so chuffed that people run in his name. I can’t wait.”
George’s runs began in March with the ‘Big Half’ in London and will end with the New York Marathon in November.
By then, all being well, he will have completed 164 race miles and well over 1,000 training miles.
Lady Elsie says: “We’re very lucky to have George as a Patron and we’re extremely proud of him.
“His passion for the work we fund is always apparent. I know he’s putting his heart and soul into this running challenge, as he does with everything for our Foundation.
“We wish George and all our wonderful Great North Runners all the very best with their final couple of weeks training. My family will be at the finish of the run to say thank you and to make sure everyone gets a well-deserved cup of tea.”
George struggling at the Great Manchester Run
George’s 10 runs to celebrate the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation’s 10 anniversary are:
1. The Big Half in London (March)
2. The Paris Marathon (April)
3. The London Marathon (April)
4. The Sunderland City Half Marathon (May)
5. The Great Manchester Run (May)
6. The Blaydon Race (June)
7. The Northumberland Coastal Run (July)
8. The Great North Run (September
9. Kielder Half Marathon (October)
10. The New York Marathon (November)
George is meeting all race and travel expenses himself.
To donate and support his efforts, or to read his descriptions of the various runs he has undertaken so far, please visit https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/GeorgeCaulkin