Great North Run 2017: Fairfield mum leads Team Fraser in memory of son as Stevenage 63-year-old completes his 20th
PUBLISHED: 10:01 13 September 2017 | UPDATED: 10:16 13 September 2017
A Fairfield mum inspired by her late son and a Stevenage man marking a milestone were among the 57,000 runners who took part in Sunday’s Great North Run.
Jennifer Robertson of Heathcliff Avenue in Fairfield completed the 13.1-mile race – her first half marathon – in memory of her son Fraser, who died when he was just six months old in November 2015.
The 36-year-old was raising money for Great Ormond Street Hospital, where Fraser spent much of his short life.
Fraser had battled Fanconi syndrome – a disorder of the kidney tubes caused by a genetic defect – and congenital hyperinsulinism, a condition that causes individuals to have abnormally high levels of insulin.
Jennifer ran in a group of eight close friends and family, who collectively raised more than £4,000 for GOSH.
“It was phenomenal doing the run with so many people – it was a fantastic experience,” said Jennifer.
“I really want to continue to do half marathons in memory of Fraser.
“The day was amazing and the support has been incredible. I’m really proud of everyone for all the hours of training they put in.”
After giving birth to daughter Mina in January, Jennifer was unable to begin training for the race until March and had struggled to run 2k. She finished yesterday’s half marathon, which sees runners make their way from Newcastle to South Shields, in two hours 13 minutes.
Steve Grimsley from Stevenage also took part in the Great North Run – his 20th in as many years.
During that time the keen runner has raised thousands of pounds for Breast Cancer Care, a charity that has provided great comfort to him and particularly to his wife Melanie who has been fighting the illness for eight years.
While the 63-year-old hoped to complete the 13.1-mile run in less than 2h40m, Steve finished an agonising eight seconds over his target time.
He has raised almost £2,000 from his JustGiving page, and has also been given cash and cheque sponsorships, including £100 from Country Properties in Stevenage.
Steve said: “I am humbled that people recognise what I am doing and have been donating money.
“Every time I cross that finish line, I well up. It’s amazing.”
He confirmed that he will definitely be returning next year for his 21st Great North Run.
Among the thousands of runners was also Councillor Steve Foster from Fairfield Parish Council, who has taken part in the race for charity a number of times.
To make a donation to Jennifer’s cause visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jen-robertson3 and to support Steve Grimsley see www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Steve-Grimsley20gnr.