Great North Run Penguins Aim to Smash £50k Fundraising Target in Final Race

06 September 2019

Having become a regular feature of the iconic race, the Great North Run Penguins are preparing to go out on a high as they compete for the tenth, and probably final, time and hit an impressive fundraising total of £50,000 for Yorkshire Cancer Research.

 Dating back to the 1990s, Team Penguin began as a group of friends wearing penguin suits to a fancy-dress party, which led to one member, Richard Logan, being challenged to complete the 2005 Great North Run in full penguin costume. Snowballing from there, with many more friends and colleagues taking part over the years, the penguin runners have become a familiar sight in the race. The group has decided that this year will be the Penguin’s last, with a number of the original members retiring from running.

A group of runners after the Great North Run
The Penguins after the 2016 Great North Run.
Having already raised a remarkable £48,000 across previous Great North Runs – including an incredible Penguathlon edition in 2013 which incorporated a 110-mile cycle either side of the half marathon – the group are hoping to end on a high by smashing through their £50,000 fundraising target.
Many of the team have had family and friends affected by cancer over the years, with members of this year’s group losing family very recently, meaning this final race is set to be an especially emotional and poignant one.
Team Penguin member David Longbottom from Bingley, who is Specification Sales Director at Leeds-based Ceramique Internationale, has always supported the Great North Run penguins and has taken part in the last three races.

Smiling runner after the Great North Run 2017
Members of the Penguins runners relax after the 2017 Great North Run.
David said: “It has been a pleasure to run with the penguins and raise money in support of the inspirational work at Yorkshire Cancer Research. Yorkshire has worse cancer outcomes than most of England, and every penny of our £50,000 total will go towards helping people avoid, survive and cope with cancer.”
John Bretherick, who has been running with the penguins from the beginning, said: “It’s been a great – and at times gruelling – journey since we began over two decades ago, and we’re thrilled to be reaching this fantastic target on our final race.”

A group of runners celebrate after the Great North Run 2014
The 2014 Penguins group celebrate after their run.
The 2019 penguin group, made up of friends and work acquaintances all with a common reason to run for Yorkshire Cancer Research, consists of: Alex Broadley, Andrew Spencer, Andy Shorey, David Longbottom, James Lodge, John Bretherick, Kristian Cholmondeley, Mat Kettlewell, Oliver Anderson and Tom Haynes. Most members come from the Bradford and Leeds area.
To donate to the Great North Run Penguins, visit:


Notes to Editors

For further press information please contact Sarah Giangregorio or Georgina Powley at The Right Agency on 0800 910 1898 or

Ceramique Internationale employs 18 people, six of whom have been with the company for more than 20 years. Its Leeds warehouse holds 100,000 square meters of tiles in stock at any one time, comprising hundreds of styles of floor and wall tiles, mosaics and associated products. 

About Yorkshire Cancer Research
•    Yorkshire Cancer Research was founded in 1925 and is the largest independent regional cancer charity in England (Registered Charity 516898). We are not part of a national charity. 
•    Current statistics show that 583 people are diagnosed with cancer in Yorkshire every week. 
•    Our mission is for 2,000 more people to survive cancer every year in Yorkshire. 
•    There are lots of cancer problems across the region that need to be tackled on a local level. We work in partnership with researchers, clinicians, the NHS, public health bodies and other charities to fund innovative work in four key areas: prevention, early diagnosis, treatment and clinical trials. 
•    For more information, please visit or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.


Nikki Brady, Senior PR Officer, Yorkshire Cancer Research. Tel: 01423 877228. Email:


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