Wakefield woman completes Virtual Great North Run in memory of her dad

Date: 09 October 2020

A project assistant from Wakefield has raised more than £400 for Yorkshire Cancer Research after completing the Virtual Great North Run.

Sophie Waite decided to take on the challenge in memory of her dad, who died last year from a brain tumour.

The 25-year-old joined thousands of people around the world as she took on the 13.1-mile distance on 13th September to celebrate what would have been the date of the iconic event, which was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Instead of completing the event’s historic route from Newcastle to South Shields, Sophie ran around her local area.

Sophie said: “I went to university in Newcastle and used to watch the race each year. I’d always wanted to take part but wanted to run for a reason. Last year I sadly lost my wonderful dad to a brain tumour, so running for a cancer charity was so important to me. This seemed like the perfect motivation to sign up and raise some much-needed funds to help other families like mine affected by cancer across the county. 

“I was disappointed when the live event was cancelled as I’d been looking forward to going back to Newcastle, running with all the crowds and soaking up the atmosphere. I’d trained through the year and received so many generous donations I felt I still had to do something. I’d already promised to run the distance myself so I was really pleased when the Virtual Great North Run was launched, and I could log it officially with all the other runners.”

Although her gym had closed during lockdown, Sophie was able to go out running most days after working from home. She completed several longer training runs at the weekend and used mobile apps to track her progress. 

She added: “Lockdown actually helped with my training, because so many venues were closed, and I was working from home. Getting out running at the end of the day was something I looked forward to. It helped me switch off. 

“I was worried that running alone on the day would be difficult, but my family cheered me on as I set off and I made myself a motivational playlist to keep me going. I think running around a familiar area also helped. I’d already done parts of the route lots of times before, so I knew what to expect.

“I was so pleased with myself when I finished the distance as it was the furthest I’d ever run, but I was mostly so grateful for all the donations I received from friends, family and some of my dad’s former colleagues. I like to think my dad would be proud of my achievement.”

You can sponsor Sophie here.

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