78-year-old County Durham man will tackle Great North Run


A 78-year-old retired farmer will take part in the Great North Run for the charity which airlifted his son. Allen Armstrong, from Lane Head, Bishop Auckland, will tackle the 13.1 mile run on September 11 in a bid to raise money for the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS).  GNAAS went to the aid of his son, David Armstrong, after a wagon slipped off a jack and fell on top of him while he was working under the vehicle.  David, who owns an agricultural engineering business in Copley, said: “I don’t quite know what went wrong.

A 78-year-old retired farmer will take part in the Great North Run for the charity which airlifted his son.

Allen Armstrong, from Lane Head, Bishop Auckland, will tackle the 13.1 mile run on September 11 in a bid to raise money for the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS). 

GNAAS went to the aid of his son, David Armstrong, after a wagon slipped off a jack and fell on top of him while he was working under the vehicle. 

David, who owns an agricultural engineering business in Copley, said: “I don’t quite know what went wrong. It was a shock.”

His workmates leapt into action and jacked the machine back up to release David who was trapped underneath, while another dragged him to safety and dialled 999.

The father-of-two suffered serious leg injuries and was airlifted to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough after the accident happened on May 23.

David, 55, said: “All the work lads were tremendous so they deserve credit.

“The air ambulance seemed to get here so quickly. I have nothing but admiration from the staff at James Cook to the medics on board the aircraft. I have been very humbled by the whole experience.”

David had his left leg plated and pinned and is currently recovering on crutches at home.

Speaking of his father’s upcoming feat, he said: “He is an inspiration. Just brilliant. I’m very proud of him.” 

Allen hopes to raise around £1,000 for the charity in an effort to “pay” for his son’s airlift.

He runs 4 to 6 miles every week to train for the event. He said: “This is my tenth Great North Run and I’m looking forward to it. I wanted to raise funds to thank GNAAS for what they’d done. They do a magnificent job.”

The family has already supported the charity through fundraisers in the past. “I just didn’t think I’d need it myself one day,” David said.

Mandy Drake, head of fundraising at GNAAS, said: “I believe Allen is our oldest ever runner and we can’t thank him enough for his effort and determination. Best of luck for the day.” 

To sponsor Allen visit his JustGiving page here.

GNAAS taking off from the incident at Copley.

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