Charities have united to urge runners who are set to pound the streets of Middlesbrough this year to make their efforts extra special.
The Middlesbrough ‘Healthy Town’ 5K Road Race and the 2k Fun Run take place on Sunday, May 15.
And the flagship Tees Pride 10k Road Race and PCT 3k Fun Run take place on Sunday, September 4.
Charities across Teesside are urging participants to not only run in the events but by doing so help make a difference to people’s lives.
The charities are represented on Middlesbrough Council’s Sports Events Charities Team which was created for the first Tees Pride 10k in 2005.
The charities team works to help each charity raise much-needed funds through the runs.
Every year the team chooses a lead charity – this year’s is a special fund created by a Boro legend and his wife after a family tragedy.
The Finlay Cooper Fund was formed in August 2006 by Colin Cooper and his wife Julie. They lost their son Finlay in January 2002 in a tragic choking accident.
The couple wanted to do something positive in Finlay’s name to help children’s charities.
So far the charity has raised more then £50,000. This has been donated to a wide range of children’s charities including children’s hospices, a children’s diabetes trust and a children’s cancer ward.
Last year the then Boro manager Gordon Strachan raised a staggering £10,000 for the fund by taking part in the 10k.
Race director Jimmy Wattis said: “The Sports Events Charities Team is going from strength to strength by involving local charities in the runs.
“By raising money for charity as well as taking part participants help make a real difference to others and they will definitely feel better as a result.
“We are very proud to have The Finlay Cooper Fund as the lead charity for this year.
“This fund has done a great deal of good for so many charities in the Middlesbrough and Teesside area.
“It’s wonderful to have the support of Colin and Julie and I hope people get involved and raise money for the fund as a result.”
Applications are now open for the 10k Road Race and 3k Fun Run on Sunday, September 4 as well as the 5K Road Race and the 2k Fun Run on Sunday, May 15. Book online at www.runmiddlesbrough.com