A Ripon councillor has completed his first half marathon after taking part in Sunday’s Simply Health Great North Run for Diabetes UK.
Councillor Stuart Martin, 62, took on the challenge after losing his father, Ronald, to diabetes-related complications and receiving his own Type 2 diabetes diagnosis.
Stuart, a retired firefighter, said:
My father found it difficult to control his diabetes which led to him losing his leg and the deterioration of his health. I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes seven years ago and hadn’t had the best control of my condition.
Diabetes is a condition where there is too much glucose in the blood because the body cannot use it properly. There are an estimated 4.6 million people living with diabetes in the UK. If not managed well, both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes can lead to devastating complications, including lower limb amputation, kidney failure and stroke.
Dad-of-two Stuart, took on the run with his eldest daughter Gemma, 36. He adds:
I watched last year’s Great North Run and listened to people as they told their stories about why they were taking part. I quickly realised how lucky I was with my life; I knew I needed to challenge myself and that I had no excuses. I called my daughter Gemma, she agreed to sign up with me and I embarked on a training regime. The first few runs were the hardest but the feeling afterwards made me keep up the training.
Officially the world’s biggest half marathon, the race saw over 50,000 runners take on the 13.1 mile route and absorb views of some of the North East’s most iconic landmarks including the Tyne Bridge and The Sage taking runners from Newcastle City Centre to the coast in South Shields.
Stuart, who finished the run in 3 hours and 15 minutes, said:
I was truly amazed and humbled by some of the people taking part in the race. The support we received as we ran around was incredible, people were so kind giving sweets and drinks. To hear people cheering your name just spurred you on. We will certainly be back to take part in the race next year.
Tyler Anderson, Diabetes UK Regional Fundraiser, said:
Congratulations to Stuart on such a fantastic effort. We’re incredibly grateful to him for taking on this challenge for us. The money raised will help fund ground-breaking research, care services and campaigns to change the lives of people with diabetes and their families.
There’s still time to help Stuart’s fundraising efforts. To sponsor Stuart visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/stuart-martin12diabetes