This weekend is a very special one for our Foundation.

George Caulkin at the end of last year’s Great North Run

Today, Mini, Junior and 5km Great North Runners will be pulling on trainers and getting involved in what, for many, will be their first ‘proper’ race.

And tomorrow, among the tens of thousands of runners, almost 100 people will be taking on Great North Run – the famous half marathon from Newcastle to South Shields – to raise funds for us.

We love the Great North Run and so did Sir Bobby. He was the official starter of the race, twice. It’s an emotional occasion that brings out the best in people.

Our Patron, George Caulkin, will be among our runners and he says it’s his ‘favourite day of the year’.

George has tried to capture the feel of the event in words here and, we’re sure you’ll agree, he’s done a fantastic job.

Good luck to all our runners and supporters today and tomorrow. We hope you have a great day!

And thank you, George, for the beautiful words.


We run this far because this far is impossible.
We run 13.1 miles because … me? No, never.
We run because we have never run before and we run because we have to.
We run for those we love.
We suffer to share their suffering.
We run with their names on our backs, so they can push us forward.
We raise money. We raise hope.
We run for mam or dad, for our sisters and uncle. For the wife and our fella.
We run to remember them, to run quicker than our loss.
We run to keep on running, because we are too scared to stop.
We put one foot in front of the other, because what else can we do?
We run for a stupid bet, because a mate said we can’t.
(We suspect they had a point, because we splutter, cough and stiffen).
We run to drink less. We run to earn our drink.
We don’t run because it makes us better, but we run because we try.
We run to win.
We win because we run.
We run and feel alive.
We run to outsprint death.
We run.
We cannot run so we holler, we scrawl on placards and bring sweets.
We high five and we giggle.
We scan the crowd for our partners, for our parents and friends.
We wait and we fret.
We see and we scream.
We stand in hi-vis, hand out water, smear Vaseline and corral.
We serve tea in tents, shout from busses. We massage. We console.
We strain at the start line and wonder what we’ve done.
We run on legs, we run on wheels, we run in costumes, we run for kicks.
We run in yellow, we run in orange, we run in white, green and pink.
We run for you, we run for us.
We run because of Brendan and on the same streets as Mo.
We grimace and we grin, we hoot in tunnels, wade up hills.
We run for the Red Arrows, for the ice pops and jelly beans.
We run in a bubble, closed off and alone.
We lift our heads for all those faces. We hear overwhelming noise.
We feel the encouragement of strangers. In their ‘howay son’ and ‘gan on lass’.
We teem across the Tyne Bride and surge to the North Sea.
We burn and hit the wall, we cramp and we sweat.
We smell the ozone and kick too early.
We see the line and we sprint.
We stumble and we limp.
We gurn for the cameras and we are torn asunder by grief.
We say not until the next time.
We grip our medals and we cry.
We are the biggest run of all.
We are everything and we are small.
We are the Great North Run.

With apologies and thanks to Liz Robbins, author of ‘A Race Like No Other’.