A VISUALLY-IMPAIRED running man travelled from South Tyneside to New Zealand to complete a half-marathon.
Michael Shaw took on the event in Tauranga, on New Zealand’s North Island, to raise cash for the hospice that has cared for his terminally-ill brother-in-law, Derek “Deka” Graham.
The 51-year-old, of the Scotch Estate in Jarrow, took on the 13-mile run for Waipuna Hospice.
Staff there have cared for Deka, 64 – a former shipyard worker who emigrated to New Zealand from South Shields with his wife, Michael’s sister Pam, 11 years ago – since he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2008.
Michael, a rehabilitation officer at Sight Service in South Shields, has raised more than $2,000 for the hospice.
He said: “I thoroughly enjoyed the run in a beautiful part of the world.
My sister and brother-in-law are over the moon and proud of what I have done.Michael Shaw
“The only drawback was this is only quite a small run and I am used to 30,000 people in the Great North Run and always having someone to follow.
“We spaced out a lot and I had to rely on the stewards to tell me to go left and right so I could stay on the right track.
“It was a personal best for me completing the race in 1hr 42mins 53secs, which was great for an old guy coming sixth in my age category.
“My sister and brother-in-law are over the moon and proud of what I have done.
“I have raised $1,645 so far and Deka has raised a further $500 to go towards it, so we have well over $2,000 for Waipuna Hospice, which we will take later this week.”
Deka added: “I just want to say a huge thank you to all our friends and family in England and New Zealand that have contributed to this great total.
“Thanks to Mick for his great efforts and the biggest thank you is to Waipuna Hospice, who have been amazing during this very difficult time.
“We wouldn’t have known what to do without them.”
Anyone who wishes to make a donation, should go to www.fundraiseonline.co.nz/MichaelShaw