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The u3a team tackling The Great North Run

Published : 23 May 2024 Views: 568

A collage of photos of the four runners running in The Great North Run

We are delighted to announce the u3a members who will be running in The Great North Run this autumn to raise money for The Third Age Trust.

Wokingham u3a member Ashley, Newcastle u3a member Joyce, Sidmouth u3a member Ken, and Southport u3a member Stephen will all be running as part of ‘team u3a' in the Great North Run on Sunday 8 September. 

Running has been a revelation for Wokingham u3a member Ashley who started running in 2018 and now runs five times a week. Shortly after joining Wokingham u3a last year, he decided to share his love of the sport by starting a u3a running group. As well as his own involvement with u3a, Ashley's parents were members for years and it is partly in their memory that he is running in September. Ashley says, “It’s such a great thing to do – I’ve always wanted to run the Great North Run so I’m thrilled to be running for u3a.”

For Newcastle u3a member Joyce, The Great North Run is closer to home. In fact, the start is walking distance from her house. A runner since the 1980s, Joyce hopes that by running, she can challenge ageism. She says, “It’s carrying out the ethos of u3a – doing something, continuing something, enjoying something that you have always done, not always to the same extent. [I hope that] is that maybe if anyone sees me running, to make them think even though I am older, that I can still do that. That is one of the things I want to do.”

For Sidmouth u3a member Ken, the Great North Run offers an opportunity to mark the 30th anniversary of his u3a, which he joined five years ago.  Ken is also looking forward to revisiting the route; having previously lived in the North East Ken has run the Great North Run several times, most recently in 2016 with his son. Ken says, “It’s [exciting] being able to run The Great North Run again – I don’t know how many more runs I have in me.” He continues, “Running over the Tyne bridge, that is the most iconic bridge. Normally the red arrows are going over at the same time… you get quite emotional. It’s an amazing feeling, the whole race.”

Southport u3a member Stephen joined the movement after moving in 2016. He says, "By running this race and fundraising I can give a little something back and say thank you u3a for enriching my life.

The funds raised will go towards creating more learning and social opportunities for members. It will help The Third Age Trust support existing u3as and facilitate the creation of new u3as in areas where they do not currently exist – ensuring that everyone has access to a u3a. Together, we can reduce loneliness and ensure everyone can learn, laugh and live.

Find out more and see how to support the runners on our Fundraising page.

It is with great sadness that we share that Lesley, who was greatly looking forward to running in The Great North Run, has passed away. Lesley was a member of Stafford u3a and an experienced runner and will be greatly missed by colleagues and friends. Our thoughts are with her family at this time.

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