A retired civil servant is taking part in his first Great North Run this weekend in memory of his dad.
Mike Fenton, 63, who is president of Lytham St Annes Men’s Forum, will join a team of more than 300 aiming to raise £150,000 for the charity Parkinson’s UK.
It’s a big challenge for me, especially at my age
It’s a first-ever half marathon for Mike, who only took up running in his 50s and has so far competed in 10k events in Blackpool and Manchester.
Dad John, who died in 2013, had Parkinson’s and Mike hopes to raise more than £700 towards the Parkinson’s UK total by completing the 13.1 mile route from Newcastle to South Shields.
Mother-in-law Jean Warner, who lives in Coventry, also has Parkinson’s and Mike said: “My wife Judith took part in the Great North Run three years ago and is running in the event again this year, although not for the Parkinson’s team.
“I am really enjoying my running after only taking it up a few years ago and I thought it would be a good idea to try and run to raise cash for Parkinson’s UK. It’s the charity Lytham St Annes Men’s Forum will be supporting for our next season which starts this week.
“Parkinson’s nurses made a huge difference in my father’s care and my mother in law Jean also benefits greatly from their expertise.
“It’s a big challenge for me, especially at my age, but the Great North Run has particular significance for me as the North East is my family’s home area. I was born in Whitburn, just two miles down the coast from the finish of the run.”
The Parkinson’s UK team of athletes are part of Team Nurse, who will be running to fund new essential specialist Parkinson’s nurse posts across the UK.
Paul Jackson-Clark, director of fundraising at Parkinson’s UK, said: “Taking part in the Great North Run is a fun and challenging way to raise vital funds to support our aim to fund much needed specialist Parkinson’s nurses. We are incredibly grateful to Mike for his support. I hope he will inspire others to take part in our events throughout the year.”
Lytham St Annes Men’s Forum meets in the Wesley Hall, Westby Street, Lytham every Wednesday morning from 10am through until March.
More about Mike’s sponsorshipwww.justgiving.com/john-michel-fenton