Ilkley group to tackle Great North Run for Cafod and Callum

The team of runners fundraising for Cafod and Callum Hall

The team of runners fundraising for Cafod and Callum Hall

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A team of parishioners are hoping to raise £3,000 for Catholic aid agency Cafod and to support a former pupil of their local school in his recovery, by taking part in the Great North Run on Sunday.

Keith Pitcher, a recently-retired university director of sustainability from Ilkley, is running with seven fellow parishioners from SS John Fisher and Thomas More in Burley-in-Wharfedale, in the famous half-marathon.

The team have so far raised more than half of their £3,000 target. This will support Cafod, who do much to alleviate poverty and hunger in the world, and Callum Hall, a former pupil of St Mary’s in Menston in his recovery.

Callum was paralysed in 2012 after contracting a rare infection that damaged his spinal cord.

Keith was set a challenge by his four children to get fit and do something for charity nine years ago and he has only missed one race since.

The 60-year-old said: “I couldn’t turn down the kids’ challenge all those years ago and it was certainly a challenge. But the first time I ran it I was so inspired by the stories of hope of the other runners I met I’ve been hooked ever since.

“In 2011 I ran with my youngest son Edward – it was a great experience, despite the fact he beat me!”

Fellow team member Chris Inglehearn, a Professor of Ophthalmology and Neuroscience, is running in memory of his father Francois.

Also running with Keith and Chris are: Brendan Barrett, Tom Lally, Colin Robertson, Joe Thompson, Andrea Westhead and Dave Westhead.

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