Great North runner plans to do it all again in memory of mum

Rich Parker who is planning even more fundraising in memory of his mum.
Rich Parker who is planning even more fundraising in memory of his mum.
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A determined runner is planning to tackle his second Great North Run in memory of his mum - and charity officials have described his support as inspirational.

Rich Parker, 47, has already tackled the half marathon before in memory of his mum, Gillian Parker, a former magistrate and member of Easington Parish Council, who died from breast cancer in 1984.

Gillian Parker.

Gillian Parker.

Now he’s planning to be on the start line again in September after describing his previous attempt as “spine tingling” and said: “The support along the roadside was amazing. People spotting your name on your vest and shouting words of encouragement gave you that extra spring in your step.”

The Easington Village resident, who works as a licensee, added: “Crossing that finish line was a great feeling of fulfilment along with a lot of emotion.”

Rich has already been hailed by Macmillan officials for his support. Macmillan fundraising manager for Teesside, Hartlepool & Peterlee Liz Airey, said: “Rich is true inspiration for everyone at Macmillan. His dedication to the charity is amazing.”

His mother died of breast cancer aged 44 and he said: “It dawned on me that this was no age to die.”

Rich is true inspiration for everyone at Macmillan. His dedication to the charity is amazing

Liz Airey

His charity events so far have included a trek along The Great Wall of China, and the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. He and his brother Nick also did a sponsored fitness challenge at Peterlee Leisure Centre in 2013.

Rich would love to hear from people willing to back him. Those interested should visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/oneinagillian2.

To join Team Macmillan, contact Liz on 07801 307012/ 0300 1000 200 or email lairey@macmillan.org.uk.