‘Run in peace’ message from loved ones as seafront 5k gathers to remember South Shields dad

Hundreds pounded a parkrun course as they turned out in tribute to “good guy” Mark Wood.

The 42-year-old, from Whiteleas, in South Shields, died last weekend, leaving friends and family devastated.

Balloons were released following on from a round of applause.

Balloons were released following on from a round of applause.

The ex-taxi driver was a leading light in the Glen Corner Trust, which was set up to support families affected by knife crime in the name of the 16-year-old, who died after he was stabbed in the town in 2009.

Mark, who was dad to James and fellow South Shields Harrier Katie, had taken part in the Great North Run for the fund.

Today, more than double the usual number of runners turned out for the volunteer-led 5k seafront parkrun in South Shields, with 570-plus joining in.

In recognition that he was a Newcastle United fan, many wore black and white at the suggestion of Mark’s mate, Craig Robe, with balloons released after a minute’s applause at the start.

I would like to think Mark was running with us and he will never be far away from my thoughts.

Paul Doxford

Colin Robson, event director, told the crowd: “Mark was one of the good guys.

“He was my friend and to lots of others as well, some of you are work colleagues and members of his family, we all knew Mark in different ways.

“I’m going to miss him and I’m sure a lot of you are going to as well.”

Harrier Paul Doxford, 56, ran with a sign on his T-shirt which said: “Run in Peace Mark.

Runners cross the starting line of the South Shields parkrun today.

Runners cross the starting line of the South Shields parkrun today.

“Once a South Shields Harrier, always a South Shields Harrier.

“Still with us.”

He said: “Mark always ran with a smile on his face, which isn’t easy when you’re running hard and it hurts.

“There are a lot of people here today who aren’t the type to run, but are here for him, and people’s positions and times don’t count.

Mark Wood did the Great North Run to raise funds for the Glen Corner Trust.

Mark Wood did the Great North Run to raise funds for the Glen Corner Trust.

“Mark would have been made up by the fact that people are wearing black and white, especially those who are usually red and white.

“I would like to think Mark was running with us and he will never be far away from my thoughts.”