A 300-STRONG team of Cafod supporters put their best feet forward in the world-famous Great North Run and romped home to bring in up to £90,000 for the Catholic aid agency.
Team Cafod joined a record 54,000 runners at this year’s largest halfmarathon event, including celebrities such as James Cracknell and Gordon Ramsey. Musician Sting and Ashes-winning England and Durham cricketer Steve Harrison sounded the starting gun.
The team crossed the finish line of the 13.1 mile race from Newcastle to South Shields in times ranging from an impressive one hour 30 minutes to just over three hours. Katherine Brougham, 26, a doctor from Robey in Liverpool, was the first Cafod woman home in one hour 36 minutes, beating her dad Paul, by about 25 minutes.
Francesca Hoyle, 28, from Preston, entered the race for the first time inspired by her recent visit to Cafod projects in Honduras and Nicaragua. She and her two team-mates Patrick Gardner and Gemma Boys raised over £3,000 between them thanks to the support of their church groups, family and friends.
Francesca said: “I ran for the people I met in Central America. It’s the first time I’ve done anything like this and I’m not sure I would have attempted it if I hadn’t been inspired by the people I met and seen the difference that Cafod is making to their lives. I’m not a natural runner but every painful step I took I was thinking of them and that helped keep me going.” Cafod’s campaigns team also entered for the first time and all five dressed as climate justice fairies to raise awareness of the organisation’s climate campaign.
Campaign officer Lucy Hurn said: “We felt the Great North Run was a great way of raising awareness of climate justice while at the same time raising vital funds for Cafod projects. It was a bit of a challenge but we were all determined and the atmosphere on the day was just incredible and really helped keep you going.
“We got quite a few comments about our climate justice fairy wings so people definitely took notice.” Cafod’s community fundraiser Helen Hinde, who helped to organise the event, said: “It was an amazing and emotional day.”