Great North Runner goes barefoot

John McBride

John McBride

A council worker from Consett in Durham is running the last mile of the Great North Run barefoot this Sunday. John McBride, 45, a father of three and a parishioner of St Patrick's Church, Consett, is aiming to raise hundreds of pounds for  CAFOD when he competes in the famous half-marathon.

Last year, John was dubbed 'barefoot man' by the local media after he made his promise to complete his 13th Great North Run without his trainers, in an effort to show solidarity with people in the developing world. John lined up with 52,000 other runners as part of a 200 strong team running for CAFOD, but was the only participant to hand his shoes over at the twelve mile mark.

John said: "I thought the last mile was mostly grass, but it was only the last two hundred metres, so I was running on the road mostly. To be honest, it was very hard! But I had a group of supporters from CAFOD who cheered me on the last mile, and got me through, just!"

John, a member of Derwentside Athletics Club, is hoping to raise around £300 for CAFOD in 2009. Last year, he managed to complete the 13 mile course in 2hr 15 minutes, and raised over £200 for CAFOD in the process. He said: "My feet felt numb afterwards! All the little stones on the road really dug in and I probably looked pretty foolish, but it was worth it. I knew I had to finish the course, partly because I'd promised everyone I would, but also because I did it to make the point that fancy trainers are a luxury some people in the developing world can't afford. They have to go without, so that's what I did".

John said: "I've been a CAFOD supporter all my life, and completed the Great North Run twelve times before. I knew I was going to do it again this year, but wanted to do something a bit different to raise more money. The last mile's pretty flat and on grass, so I thought, 'why not?'"

If you would like to support him, please go to:

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