A South Tyneside dad is preparing to take part in the most emotional of Great North Runs.
Mark Wood, 40, will be taking part in his 10th Great North Run in aid of the Glen Corner Trust - on the 10th anniversary of Glen Vorner’s death.
“I feel honoured I’m able to wear the shirt promoting the Glen Corner Trust.Mark Wood
The teenager was stabbed to death on his 16th birthday in 2006.
Mark Wood, a committee member for the Glen Corner Trust, says that, when he stands on the starting line of the event on September 11, it will be hard for him to hold back the tears.
Since 2006, Mr Wood, from Whiteleas, South Shields, has promised his family he would take part in the Great North Run in his memory.
Mr Wood said: “I’m looking forward to the run but it’s going to be especially hard this year emotionally with it being the 10th year of Glen’s death.
“Every year before the run you take a moment to reflect as to why you are there.
“I made a promise to Glen’s family that every year for as long as I can I’ll take part in the run in his memory and for the Trust.
“It’s just hard to think I’ll be taking part in my 10th run because it only seems like yesterday we were being told the devastating news.”
The teenager was stabbed to death after stepping in to protect a friend who was being threatened with a knife in East Avenue, Harton.
He had earlier been out celebrating his 16th birthday and his GCSE results with friends.
Mr Wood will be taking part in the run alongside Glen’s dad Lee and his wife Shona.
He added: “Since I took part in the first run, I began to take running seriously.
“But all that goes out the window when you are stood on the starting line alongside thousands of others all running for the various charities and their own reasons.
“I feel honoured I’m able to wear the shirt promoting the Glen Corner Trust.
“And it’s not just Glen I’m running in memory of but also Dekka Kennedy, David Charlton and Gemma Finnigan who were all killed by those armed with knives.
“To think that something good like the Trust has come from a tragedy and that we’ve been able to help 22 families affected by knife crime is just amazing.
“And if through the trust we can make people think twice about carrying knives then we are potentially saving lives.”
The Great North Run will see thousands of runners come together to take on the 13.1 mile course from Newcastle to South Shields.
The event created by runner Brendan Foster has become the biggest half marathon in the world and has helped to raise thousands of pounds for various charities.
It attracts top runners from across the globe.
To sponsor Mr Wood or make a donation Trust visit /www.gofundme.com/2jv5mys