Watch as Sunderland AFC fan completes 'Metrothon' charity challenge running entire length of the Tyne & Wear Metro line
'I didn't want to finish the run at St James Park Metro station in front of 50,000 Newcastle fans'
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Sunderland man Ben Cook really has gone the extra mile for charity after completing his Metrothon challenge, running the entire length of the Tyne and Wear Metro line.
Ben completed the 63-mile run in an aggregate time of 11 hours and 30 minutes over consecutive days on the August Bank Holiday weekend, tracking the Metro route on nearby roads and footpaths.
On Saturday (August 26) Ben clocked up 27 miles, running the Green Line from South Hylton Metro station in Sunderland to Newcastle Airport.
On Sunday (August 27) Ben then covered the Metro’s Yellow Line, from South Shields to St James Metro station in Newcastle city centre via the Metro’s North Tyneside coastal loop.
Ben’s efforts have so far raised over £1,000 for The Running Charity, which looks to “improve the lives of 16-25 year-olds who are homeless or at risk of homelessness”.
Ben, 30, said: “I’m buzzing to have completed this Metro marathon. It was amazing to cross that finish line. I was knackered after two days of back to back running.
“The hardest part was the second morning. I almost didn’t want to leave the house. The first ten miles from South Shields was really tough.
“I’ve had great support along the way from my wife and my colleagues at Heaton Harrierrs running club. It was brilliant to see that finish line and see my wife waiting for me there.”
Ben got the idea to run the Metro line after a friend in London ran the 11 lines of the London Underground for charity.
Although he now lives in West Moor in North Tyneside Ben was born in Thorney Close and is a keen Sunderland AFC fan.
He said: “The run was due to end at St James Park and the reason I set off so early on Sunday is that I knew Newcastle were playing Liverpool and I didn’t really want to be finishing the run in front of 50,000 Newcastle fans.”
Ben has currently raised £1,298 and hopes to eventually raise £2,000 via his JustGiving page.
He said: “Homelessness can happen at anytime and to anyone and when it happens to a young person it can affect them for the rest of their life.
“The charity uses running to improve fitness and instil a goal-setting mentality that are key tools in helping these vulnerable young people to build healthy, sustainable futures.
“I want to say thanks to everyone who has supported me and sponsored me on the run. I’m hoping to raise over £2,000 for The Running Charity, which will go to help homeless young people. It’s a cause close to my heart.
“I’ll have a well earned rest now, but I'm thinking of doing this same Metro route again next year, and next time get it all done in one single day."
Head of Station Delivery at Nexus, Lynne Dickinson, said: “We’re thrilled to hear that Ben has completed his epic Metro marathon. It’s been a phenomenal effort for a really great cause.
“When we heard about this challenge we thought he was a bit crazy for taking that on over two back to back days, but he’s shown incredible stamina and fitness to get to the finish.
“It can’t have been easy running that far, especially on that second day when he still had 36 miles in front of him after 27 miles on day one.
“The Metro covers such a wide area and the run has shown the network is a lot bigger than many people realise.”
Ben is using his Metro run as preparation for a 100-mile ultra marathon that he’s taking on in September, which will see him run all the way from Holy Island to Hexham in a single day.