The 12th parkrun of Christmas

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It was suggested to us at Newcastle that we all run the final parkrun at Riverside. I thought this was an excellent idea and it would be great to see everyone again.


Lee and I put the word out and we welcomed several family and friends down to Chester-le-Street on Saturday the 4th of January. It was a chilly morning but at least it wasn’t raining! I hadn’t ran since I collapsed at Newcastle exactly two weeks prior. I intended on getting round the final parkrun within about 25 minutes. The course at Riverside is very flat, it’s one of the easiest parkruns in the north-east so I knew it was a realistic time.


On the second lap I noticed the Northern Echo photographer snapping away. New faces and a newspaper, Riverside should be delighted! We crossed the line in 25:02, not a bad guess eh? My Dad was on duty taking the pictures, here are some below. Apologies that not everyone is on them as people had already gone home.

The 12th parkrun of ChristmasThe Northern EchoNeil and Leighton ByrneChallenge De-brief

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Riverside for having us, even though this happened. The challenge is one of the toughest things I’ve ever faced in my life and psychologically that’s it done and dusted now. Thank-you to all our family and friends for coming down to support us on the day and throughout the challenge.


Now I know I’m fit and healthy I wouldn’t change anything about this challenge. I now know my limits as a runner. I’m a really determined individual and I gave it everything I had. It was all for Tiny Lives.


About The Author

Following the birth of his son in 2009, Paul was unfit and sluggish. Since then he's been training using a range of exercise techniques and gained some valuable information over the years. Events he has completed to date are Total Warrior, Pier To Pier, Bamburgh 10k, Hamsterley 10k, Blaydon Races, Newcastle Stampede and over 50 parkruns. In 2012 he created his own challenge called the '12 Days of Christmas.' He raised over £1000 for Percy Hedley by running 60 miles to celebrate their 60 years. In 2013 he ran the '12 parkruns of Christmas' with friend Lee Nyland. The pair raised over £1400 for the Tiny Lives Fund.

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