Stevenage husband to take on his twentieth Great North Run for charity

PUBLISHED: 07:03 04 September 2017

Steve, 63, is running in aid of Breast Cancer Care. Image supplied by Steve Grimsley

Steve, 63, is running in aid of Breast Cancer Care. Image supplied by Steve Grimsley

Image supplied by Steve Grimsley

A Stevenage man is aiming at a personal milestone at the Great North Run this year.

Melanie Grimsley has battled cancer for eight yearsMelanie Grimsley has battled cancer for eight years

Steve Grimsley has been running the famed half marathon for charity since 1997, and will be taking on his 20th run on Sunday.

He runs in aid of Breast Cancer Care as his wife Melanie, who he lives with in the Broadwater area, has fought the illness for eight years.

“As a bloke, it really does humble you,” Steve told the Comet.

“I often see what women go through and wish I could be that strong.”

Steve is aiming at reaching the personal milestone of 20 Great North Runs for charity. Image supplied by Steve GrimsleySteve is aiming at reaching the personal milestone of 20 Great North Runs for charity. Image supplied by Steve Grimsley

Breast Cancer Care has been a lifeline for the couple, said Steve.

“They help not only my wife, but me,” he said.

“It’s nice to have others to talk to. It makes everything better to cope with.”

Steve, who used to be a referee, has been racking up the miles in training – even while on holiday.

Melanie Grimsley and her husband, Steve. Image supplied by Steve GrimsleyMelanie Grimsley and her husband, Steve. Image supplied by Steve Grimsley

“I’ve just returned from Ibiza, and I ran every day – though I drank every night, too!” said Steve.

He cuts a distinctive bright pink figure in the 13.1-mile run, even dyeing his beard pink.

His 20th Great North Run will be a little slower than in earlier years, due to having had a knee replacement five years ago.

But, as he said: “Whether you run a mile in four minutes or 10 minutes, it’s still a mile.

Steve Grimsley stands out in his all-pink running gear. Image supplied by Steve GrimsleySteve Grimsley stands out in his all-pink running gear. Image supplied by Steve Grimsley

“And with the best will in the world, a knee won’t kill you – cancer will.”

Although the run is getting more painful, Steve is motivated by his love for Melanie after the extensive treatment she has gone through at Stevenage’s Lister Hospital.

“I’m biased, my wife’s beautiful,” he said.

“The main reason I do it is not everyone is as lucky as me. I wake up with the woman I love every day – but a lot of men have lost their wives. Every little bit helps.”

Steve Grimsley is running the Great North Run for the 20th time in aid of Breast Cancer Care. Image supplied by Steve GrimsleySteve Grimsley is running the Great North Run for the 20th time in aid of Breast Cancer Care. Image supplied by Steve Grimsley

Once he’s reached his goal, he says Melanie is “terrified” he’ll try and make it to 30 Great North Runs.

“Then I’d be 73, but I’m going to go for it!” he added.

Steve’s fundraising page has seen more than £350 donated, but he hopes to raise at least £1,500.

To add to his total click here.

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