Mayor’s half marathon for good cause

The Mayor of Morpeth completed her first Great North Run on Sunday as part of her fund-raising efforts for her charity, Northumbria Blood Bikes.

Wednesday, 11th September 2019, 11:41 am
Updated Thursday, 12th September 2019, 15:17 pm
From left, Claire Lancaster, Coun Alison Byard and Lesley Athey.

Alison Byard began training for the half marathon from Newcastle to South Shields with her friend Claire Lancaster back in September 2018.

This started with the NHS Couch to 5K app and then onto weekly short and long runs up to 12 miles, where they were joined by Lesley Athey.

Claire and Lesley ran with Coun Byard on Sunday.

They were among 50 runners for Northumbria Blood Bikes. Their target for sponsorship was originally £750, but reached £1,920 the day after the Great North Run.

Coun Byard said: “I feel that the Mayor should have a personal challenge as part of their fund-raising campaign when they spend a year asking other people to donate to their charity.

“Running a half marathon was a real challenge for me, as I am not sporty at all.

“The Great North Run was the most marvellous day, with perfect, sunny weather, a great friendly atmosphere and so many people running for different charities.

“It was especially nice to see my fellow town councillors, former Mayor Jack Gebhard and Richard Wearmouth, after the run, though they finished much earlier than I did.”

The Mayor has plenty of other fund-raising events planned over the next few months. You can still sponsor her online at