Great North Run: three Derbyshire pals set for half-marathon

Left to right: Danny, Barry, and SteveLeft to right: Danny, Barry, and Steve
Left to right: Danny, Barry, and Steve
Three friends are getting set to tackle the Great North Run for two fantastic charities - Mind and the British Heart Foundation.

Danny Hardwick, Steven Boyle, and Barry Plowright will all tie their laces and don their running vests for the gruelling half marathon this Sunday.

The run, an institution of the athletics calendar for the past forty years, sees upwards of 50,000 athletes - professional and amateur - take to the streets of Newcastle for a whole host of good causes.

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We caught up with Danny, 36 and from Whitwell, just a week before the big event and he explained it all stemmed from a conversation over a pint: “My wife and I started the couch to 5k towards the end of last year and the then, as a challenge between myself and a couple of friends, we wanted to do something a bit bigger and raise money for charity at the same time.

“It was a very drunken conversation in our local, back in January, and we said “shall we do this, shall we?” and then we started discussing what charities we could do it for and I think to be honest, lots of people thought we were joking but here we are.”

The process since then has been ‘very mixed’, Danny admitted, but said running with friends had helped keep one another motivated. That and being ‘extremely stubborn’.

Talking about the choice of Mind as a charity, Danny said: “Two out of the three of us in the past have had issues with mental health. Myself, I’ve had issues with depression and PTSD and we picked Mind but, specifically, wanted to focus on the mindset around men’s mental health. There still is the big perception that men are fearsome and tough and don’t talk about mental health and this is a way of opening up those conversations.”

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When pushed on the plans for after the run Danny said the three would likely pop out in the evening for a curry.

The Great North Run takes place this Sunday (September 10) and can be watched on television across the BBC throughout the day.