A GP from St Helens has raisedhundreds of pounds for the Catholic aid agency CAFOD by participating in the BUPA Great North Run on Sunday, September 16.
Tiernan Dowling, 44, was one of almost 40,000 runners who took part in the half-marathon from Newcastle to South Shields. He completed the gruelling 13.1miles in a time of 1 hour 45 minutes.
Tiernan, who works at Bowery Medical Centre in St Helens said: “This was my first Great North Run and it went a lot better than I expected. The atmosphere during the race was fantastic, I got pushed along in a wave of people and the adrenaline kicked in, so before I knew it I had completed the first six miles.”
Having completed part of his medical training in Uganda and Kenya, Tiernan has seen first-hand the work CAFOD carries out.
He said: “Having travelled to Africa, I know that the money CAFOD raises and the projects it supports are really needed. I would love an opportunity to work in the developing world again in the future but in the meantime I will keep raising money for CAFOD.”
This year, to celebrate its 50th anniversary, CAFOD had 50 runners taking part in the Great North Run, aiming to collect more than £10,000 in sponsorship between them.
Chris Lappine from CAFOD Liverpool said: “We’ve had a summer of amazing athletic achievement and CAFOD appreciates the efforts of all our runners. It’s wonderful that 50 people are prepared to put themselves out to train for and then run more than 13 miles to raise funds and awareness for CAFOD, whatever their level. We truly thank them for their sacrifice and dedication.”
There was a strong Olympic connection among the athletes taking part and Team GB representatives Mo Farah, Kat Copeland, Nicola Adams, Ellie Simmonds and Greg Rutherford – all medallists from the Olympics and Paralympics – were the race’s honorary starters.
Meanwhile, Olympic torchbearer John McBride ran the last mile of the race barefoot for the fifth consecutive year for CAFOD, in solidarity with those who can’t take having a pair of shoes for granted. John was joined for the first time by his 21-year-old daughter Lisa, inspired by two trips her Dad has made to the Korogocho slum in Kenya, most recently in June to present St John’s Sports Society in Korogocho with the Olympic torch he carried on June 16. Fittingly a Kenyan – Wilson Kipsang – won the men’s race, while his countrywoman – Edna Kiplagat – came second in the women’s race.