Sunderland Sainsbury’s boss smashes record with double marathons to help leukaemia-sufferer daughter

Sainsbury's employee Simon Harle has competed in the London Marathon and The Marathon of the North in aid of Children With Cancer UK after his daughter had leukemia.
Sainsbury's employee Simon Harle has competed in the London Marathon and The Marathon of the North in aid of Children With Cancer UK after his daughter had leukemia.
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THIS dedicated dad has smashed his running record after completing two marathons in aid of his daughter.

Simon Harle challenged himself to run the Virgin London Marathon and Sunderland’s Marathon of the North.

The 37-year-old is raising funds for Children With Cancer UK, in the name of youngest daughter Evie, seven, who has recovered from leukaemia.

So far, he has raised about £600, and the money is still coming in.

“I don’t know how much I’ve raised altogether because it will take about two weeks to get all the sponsor money in,” he said.

“That’s the hard part, but I’m hoping to get about £2,000 in total.”

Simon, a produce manager at Sainsbury’s, Wessington Way, started running when Evie, then aged three, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in July 2009.

“I started running then because I wanted to raise money for the charity who helped her,” said Simon, who is married to Beverley, 34, and has another daughter Ellie, aged nine.

“I couldn’t jump out of a plane because I don’t like heights, so I started doing the Great North Run.

“People from work did it with me, and it just went on from there.”

This year Simon’s life has been taken over by the marathon challenge as he hit the streets in preparation.

“The past six months has been dedicated to running,” he said.

“My wife and the kids have been really supportive, and I don’t really know what I’ll do on Sunday’s now.”

Beverley and the two girls waited patiently to see Simon cross the finish line of the Marathon of the North, at the Stadium of Light, on Sunday.

“It was great to have their support at the finish line,” said Simon. “The 24 mile mark was tough, but I knew I was nearly home.

“There was a good atmosphere considering what the conditions had been like on the morning. The London Marathon was really hard because of the heat, and I bruised my toe really badly.

“I had to bandage it up for the marathon on Sunday, so when I beat my time I couldn’t believe it.”

Simon, from South Tyneside, ran the Virgin London Marathon in four hours 45 mins and 51 secs, and the Marathon of the North in four hours 14 mins and 45 secs.

To donate to his cause visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/ellieharle.