TWO young women are in training for a 13-mile run in memory of their grandfather – a cyclist who had recorded more than 650,000 miles in the saddle.
Half-sisters Rebecca Carter, 22, and Jade Hutchinson, 17, from Darlington, will compete in the Great North Run for the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS), in honour of their grandfather, George William Hugill.
Mr Hugill died in an accident earlier this year at the age of 82, when his bike was in a collision with a horsebox near North Cowton on January 31.
In his lifetime, Mr Hugill logged more than 650,000 miles on his bike which equates to about 26 times around the world. He also completed a round trip of 2,000 miles in 17 days, starting in Darlington before taking in both Lands’ End and John O’Groats.
Miss Carter said: “He was out every day on his bike, even at the age he was, completing 20-mile routes from Darlington to Staindrop and Northallerton.
“He was a loyal supporter of GNAAS. It was a charity that he backed and it was very close to his heart.”
The pair are now hard at work preparing for the half-marathon.
Miss Carter said: “I try to run three times per week. My grandad used to say ‘has Becci been out for a run yet?’, and now is my chance to run with no excuses.
“He would be so proud of us.”
Miss Carter and Miss Hutchinson visited the GNAAS airbase at Durham Tees Valley Airport to meet the crew who they will be supporting.
Miss Hutchinson said: “GNAAS are excellent, you never know when you might need them.
“People wouldn’t be able to spend more time with their families if it wasn’t for their quick response, ability to perform blood transfusions and to treat patients with their specialist care in any environment.”
Visit their fundraising page to make a donation: https://www.justgiving.com/teams/N2GWH