Congratulations to our Great North Runners

16 September 2013

Join our Great North Run team for September and we won't set you a fundraising target!

Despite the strong winds and rain thousands turned out to cheer over 56,000 runners that took part, including Britain's own champion Mo Farah, who was narrowly beaten in the elite mens race by Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele in a thrilling finish.

Weather notwithstanding, CAFOD's team of over 35 runners did a great job completing the UK's largest half marathon, with the opportunity to celebrate with friends and family afterwards in the charity village, meet and chat to CAFOD staff and volunteers, and have a well earned cup of tea!

Peter Smith, a 62 year old retired fitter from Jarrow, was first back at the CAFOD tent. Peter has completed the Great North Run every year since its beginning in 1981, making this his 33rd race for CAFOD! He told us "I had a good run out there today, and I had my wife, children and six grandchildren out there supporting me which was great. I've always supported CAFOD through my Church, its part of my life now. Hopefully I'll be back again next year!'

Kathy McNicholas, 41, is a headteacher from St Mary's Catholic Technology in Leyland. She completed the race in 2 hours 12 minutes, and she told us, "“The second half was really tough, but it’s good to challenge yourself. I think things like this set a good example for young people; hopefully it’ll inspire them to do something adventurous."

The race come just two weeks ago after her school sustained substantial fire damage, which nearly meant Kathy couldn't take part due to dealing with the repairs. However she told us, "I still wanted to support CAFOD, a charity which is very important to our school community. I think it’s good for us to look beyond ourselves; a lot of people in the world are suffering far worse than we are."

Meanwhile Keith Pitcher, 60, from Leeds, was one of a team of seven from St John Fisher and Thomas More from Burley, Wharfdale.

Keith said: “We were so worried when we saw the weather forecast we thought it would be a nightmare but it wasn’t too bad and we all crossed the line ok. It was great running as a team and we’re all really keen to carry on running together after this. We all felt strongly running for CAFOD, it’s such a good cause. That and people’s faith in us completing the race kept us going.”

If you would like to take part in next years Great North Run, please register for the reminder email here! If you would like to join Team CAFOD in any events throughout the country, please get in touch with the Events team at

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