South Shields runner completes Swiss Alps mountain challenge in dad’s memory

Carl Mowat Swiss marathon and Great North Run fundraiser for MacMillan Cancer Research. Fundraising manager Jane Curry.
Carl Mowat Swiss marathon and Great North Run fundraiser for MacMillan Cancer Research. Fundraising manager Jane Curry.

A 15-year break from running failed to stop a former Gazette worker from taking on the mountains of Switzerland in memory of his dad.

Carl Mowatt dug out his training shoes to take part in the Sierre-Zinal trail race to raise funds for MacMillan Cancer Support.

The 55-year-old from South Shields, who is manager of the Hedworth Hall, South Shields, didn’t stop there an hit the road again in September by competing in the Great North Run for the same cause.

His efforts has helped raise £1,600 for the charity.

Carl’s dad, Richard, was 58 when he lost his battle with cancer in 1994.

He was cared for by Macmillan Nurses during the later stages of his fight.

It was an honour to run for Macmillan in memory of my dad, I even carried his picture with me, and I’m sure it helped to spur me on, especially over the tough terrain in the Swiss Alps.

Carl Mowatt

Carl said: “Macmillan gave so much care to my dad and my family and I never really thanked them.

“The Sierre Zinal was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in running terms. After I finished I swore I’d never do it again.

“But because of my finishing position, I was eight out of 300 in my age group, I have been invited back next year to run.

“I have accepted and I’m looking forward to taking part again.”

Mr Mowatt, a former compositor with the Shields Gazette, where his father also worked, added: “I also enjoyed the Great North Run after an 18 year absence. I ran the route in 1 hour 34 - the same time when I took part in the first Great North Run in 1981.

“It was an honour to run for Macmillan in memory of my dad, I even carried his picture with me, and I’m sure it helped to spur me on, especially over the tough terrain in the Swiss Alps.”

The Sierre-Zinal run is also known as the Race of Five 4000m Peaks.

It is one of the oldest mountain races found in its category in Europe’s mountains.

It is held in Valais Alps and takes running on a challenging 31km route which includes a 2200m ascent and a 800m descent.

The Great North Run is one of the world’s biggest half marathons with those taking part running the 13.1 mile course from Newcastle to South Shields.

For details on Macmillan Cancer Support visit www.macmillan.org.uk

Mr Mowatt has organised a black tie dinner at the Hedworth Hall in Dean Road, South Shields, on November 24 in aid of Macmillian Cancer Support with guest speaker Tyne Tees presenter Pam Royal.

The night will also feature a singer, magician and entertainment,

For tickets call 456 3112.