Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Watch Them go:The Children Who Are Right in the Running

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Watch Them go:The Children Who Are Right in the Running

Article excerpt

Byline: Lisa Hutchinson Reporter

MEET the tiny kids who took on a mammoth task to launch one of the greatest races in the North East calender.

Inspirational toddlers tested out the track at Gateshead International Stadium to launch the region's biggest 10k running event.

The Simplyhealth Great North 10k Gateshead returns on Sunday, July 9, bringing with it the Toddler Dash and Family Run.

The four youngsters gearing up for their first running event are Abe Brough, Harriet Mole, Eva Swinbanks and Samson Taylor.

Samson, from Durham, who will soon celebrate his second birthday, was born eight weeks premature with serious heart problems, as well as an oesophagus and trachea defect. He needed surgery at just 13 hours old and spent the first two months of his life in hospital. And when he was nine months old he had open heart surgery that saved his life.

Mum and dad, Jenni and Ben, are proud that Samson is taking part in the Toddle Dash.

Jenni, 33, said: "We gave him a big strong name because he had a strong fight on his hands.

"He had open heart surgery and without that he would have died. He is taking part in the Toddler Dash to raise money for Tiny Lives. He's incredible."

Three-year-old Abe broke his leg just before his second birthday, and now it's better, he never stops running. He is taking part in the race to raise money for Marie Curie, after they cared for his grandad before he passed away from asbestos-related lung cancer.

Abe, from Ryton, Gateshead, who was in a plaster cast for six weeks, said: "I broke my leg and after it got better, it's now a super leg. I love to run and run and run. You never give up, you keep on running."

Abe's mum Danielle, 44, said: "The Marie Curie nurses were amazing in Ken's final days and it seems only fitting that Abe should do the Toddler Dash in memory of such a wonderful influence in his life."

The Simplyhealth Great North Toddler Dash will see up to 100 children up to the age of three completing 70 metres on the athletics track, and the Family Run will take in a one mile route around the stadium. …

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