South Shields runner to take on mountain marathon in Swiss Alps to remember dad

Carl Mowatt is to run a Swiss mountain marathon and Great North Run
Carl Mowatt is to run a Swiss mountain marathon and Great North Run

A former Gazette worker has put his running shoes back on after a 15-break to take part in a mountain marathon in memory of his dad.

Richard Mowatt was 58 when he lost his battle with cancer in 1994

Mr Mowatt had been cared for by Macmillan Nurses during the later stages of his fight.

His son Carl has dug out his training shoes after a the long break from running to take part in his first marathon to raise funds for the charity which offered much-needed support and care to his dad and the rest of the familyfamily.

For the past two years, 55-year-old Carl - who has taken part in running events in the past - has been working on regaining his fitness.

After an unsuccessful attempt last year, he has a place in this year’s Sierre-Zinal trail race.

The 31km event is as one of the best-known trail races in the world and includes a series of tough climbs through the Swiss Alps.

Mr Mowatt, a former compositor with the Shields Gazette, where his father also worked, said: “This event is one I’ve always wanted to do but it is so hard to gain a place.

“I applied last year and was unsuccessful but this year I was lucky enough to get one of the 4,000 places.

“I have stepped up my training and have taken part in a number of local runs since getting back into the running scene.”

He added: “Macmillan gave so much care to my dad and my family and I never really thanked them. This is my way of saying thank you. “

Mr Mowatt, who is from South Shilds, will also be taking part in the Great North Run in September - also for Macmillan.

He added: “I’m looking forward to both events and raising as much as I can for the charity.”

The Sierre-Zinal run is also known as the Race of Five 4000m Peaks.

It is one of the oldest mountain races found in its category in Europe’s mountains.

It is held in Valais Alps and takes running on a challenging 31km route which includes a 2200m ascent and a 800m descent.

The Great North Run is one of the world’s biggest half marathons with those taking part running the 13.1 mile course from Newcastle to South Shields.

People can donate to one of two Just Giving pages set up to raise cash for Macmillan www.justgiving.com/fundraising/carl-mowatt3 or www.justgiving.com/fundraising/carl-mowatt2

For details on Macmillan Cancer Support visit www.macmillan.org.uk