To raise money for Newcastle Hospitals NHS Hospitals Charity, Owen Conlin decided to run a solo marathon from his home in Sydney, Australia.
Owen, who is originally from Forest Hall, moved abroad in 1995 but has never forgotten his northern roots. He was planning to return to Newcastle this September for the Great North Run for the second year in a row after completing it last year for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.
“You can’t even imagine what has happened to the world since The Great North Run 2019, and while Australia has been incredibly lucky in the pandemic, it’s been hard to see the impact in the UK and the struggles and challenges in the North East,” says Owen
“However, it has also been inspirational to see the country and community rally behind our Heroes in the NHS and all the frontline workers.” “The only way I thought I could honour the NHS Team and my North East Family & Friends was to run for them in lieu of coming back for the Great North Run 2020.”
Owen raised £907.00 for Newcastle Hospitals NHS Charity for staff and patients in light of Covid-19, by completing his solo marathon from the Sydney Hills to Bondi Beach on the 3nd of May.
“The highlight of my run had to be bumping into Nicola along the way, whose dad I worked with in Fiji and is a Geordie from Whitley Bay. I suppose, there’s a lesson there – wherever you are in the world, whatever the challenges you face, you’ll always find a Geordie to get you across to the finish line!”
As a member of the Kirribilli Runners in Sydney, Owen is used to long distance running. After completing the Great North Run last year, he flew back to home to take part in the Sydney marathon the following day. However, unsurprisingly this was Owen’s first ‘isolation’ solo marathon.
“Although the run was a challenge, it is all trivial to decisions that have to be made every day as our frontline heroes protect and look after the community. Said Owen “I’m proud to run for Newcastle Hospitals and the NHS! Your efforts, selflessness, courage and care reach the world. Thank you!”
Owen’s fundraising efforts were made all the more poignant after his friend and fellow local runner tragically took his own life earlier this month.
“The news of my friend’s passing has made me realise more than ever that we are all in this together, and we need to look after each other’ said Owen.
If you would like to make a donation to support Newcastle Hospitals staff and patients or organise your own fundraising challenge please visit the Newcastle Hospitals NHS Charity website for more details: https://charity.newcastle-hospitals.nhs.uk Newcastle Hospitals NHS Charity raises money to enhance the experience of patients, staff and services both in the hospitals and the community.
The role of the charity is to help to provide enhancements that will make a difference – whether that’s funding pioneering research; supporting staff training and development; state of the art medical equipment and technology or simply enabling the Trust to improve the experience of the patients in its care.
Every penny raised is spent locally to help both patients and their families from across the region and beyond.