LITTLE Comets singer Rob Coles is running in memory of his sister.
Rob, from Jarrow, is taking on the 13.1-mile route, from Newcastle to South Shields, for the first time, and he’s raising money for the Down’s Syndrome Association.
He said: “My sister Katie was born with Down’s Syndrome in 1991, a condition which is caused by an extra chromosome in the body’s cells.
“Unfortunately Katie also had three holes in her heart and passed away only three months later.
“Although I was only eight at the time, I remember this as being a particularly tough time for my family, especially my mam and dad.
“Even now that I’m a father myself, I still cannot imagine how it must have been to lose their beautiful baby.
“It’s my first time doing the Great North Run and I’m really excited about it. I’ve been saying I was going to do it every year since I was 18 and I’m hoping it’ll become a regular thing.
“I always used to go and watch it from Fellgate bus stop, but now I’ll be running past it, so it’ll be quite strange.
“I’ve done a few 10k runs already and I ran 12 miles last Sunday, so I should get through it no bother.
“It’s been good having something to train for.”
The band, which also stars Rob’s brother, Michael, and Washington’s Matt Hall, have recently returned from a tour of America. They signed a deal with Nashville label Dualtone Music to distribute their second album, Life Is Elsewhere.
Rob said: “Touring America was excellent. There was some of the gigs where people knew all the words and were singing along to our songs – it was bizarre.
“We’re actually going back there in about a month’s time.
“We’re supporting a band called Atlas Genius on some gigs and we’ve got some of our own.
“And in the meantime, we’ve started writing our third album.”
The band have also just announced a gig at the O2 Academy, in Newcastle, on February 21.
Rob said: “By the time the gig comes around, we won’t have played in Newcastle for about a year and a half.
“It’s always the gig we look forward to because it’s like a hometown gig for us.
“We always try to save it until the end of the tour, because when you’ve been away for a while it’s nice to come back and see some familiar faces.”
n To sponsor Rob for the Great North Run, go to http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/RobColes.