Bus workers prepare for Great North Run challenge

Michael Heskett (left) and Sean Smith of Stagecoach who are running the 2015 Great North Run for North of England Children's Cancer Research
Michael Heskett (left) and Sean Smith of Stagecoach who are running the 2015 Great North Run for North of England Children's Cancer Research

A pair of bus company workers have hit the road in a different mode of transport as they prepare to tackle Sunday’s Great North Run.

Michael Heskett and Sean Smith from Stagecoach North East are in the final stages of preparation for the North East’s most famous half marathon, and are hoping to raise more than £550 between them, for the North of England Children’s Cancer Research (NECCR).

Leaving the buses behind, Michael and Sean have been pounding the pavements in training over the past few months and are both aiming for a time of less than 90 minutes for the race.

With personal bests of one hour 26 minutes, and one hour 16 minutes respectively, the dynamic duo are both avid fans of the world-famous event, with Michael running his fourth race and Sean completing his 23rd run.

Michael, 30, who is a member of Sunderland Harriers, is facing an extra challenge after a serious foot injury, and is training hard to get back into shape after a football match saw him break his leg earlier this year.

Keen supporters of the children’s charity, the pair are delighted to be running again for them and are receiving lots of support from colleagues, family and friends, in addition to a donation of £100 each from Stagecoach North East, to help boost their fund-raising efforts.

Michael said: “This has been a tough year and I have been plagued with injuries, but I am going to give it my best.

“I was really disappointed when I had to drop out of the Sunderland Half Marathon earlier this year due to my accident, so I will be pushing myself as hard as I can.

“Knowing that I am raising money for such a fantastic charity will certainly help when the times get tough around the course, and the crowds are always very supportive and cheer you on.”