John Mason, The Great North Run Veteran

The Great North Run is the world’s biggest half marathon with 60,000 runners taking on the 13.1-mile route from Newcastle to South Shields each year. It is not for everyone, but for John Mason it has become an annual tradition. He has taken on the gruelling challenge 28 times, including the very first Great North Run in 1981! We got in touch with John to ask about his Great North Run journey.

“My Great North Run record is rather strange as I did it for the first four years (1981-1984) and then went through a barren spell before taking up the challenge again in 1999. Since then, I have only missed out once, in 2009, when a rescheduling meant that I already had something planned for the day of the run. Even the GNR couldn’t tempt me to waste my ticket for England v Australia cricket at Chester-le-Street! Assuming that all goes well this year, it will be my 29th participation in the run.

Most of my working life was based at The University Hospital of North Tees, where I worked as a pharmacist. As such, I have felt an affinity to Butterwick Hospice over a long period of time, both professionally and emotionally.

I can’t remember when I started running for team Butterwick but I’m sure that it was before 2009 as I remember running for the Hospice in the London Marathon that year. I hasten to add that there is no way that I could complete a full marathon now! But I do intend to continue with the GNR for as long as my body will allow.”

Everyone at Butterwick Hospice would like to thank John for all his fundraising efforts, and wish him luck for this years Great North Run.

If you would like to join John and run for Butterwick Hospice this year you still can! Find out more here.