Son of man who spotted Seb Coe's potential runs Half Marathon as tribute to dad

The son of a man who spotted Seb Coe's potential is to run the Sheffield Half Marathon as a tribute to his dad

Monday, 20th September 2021, 4:02 pm

Born and bred in Sheffield, David Tomlinson was one of the first people to spot the potential of future Olympic champion Sebastian Coe, who later called him inspirational.

Now David’s only son Richard, who hated running, will be taking part in the Sheffield Half on Sunday, September 26, as a tribute to his dad and the other unsung heroes who make such events happen - the volunteers, the organisers and everyone involved.

Businessman Richard, aged 53, of Greenhill, said: “I actually hated running and athletics with a passion growing up. Why? Because our house was consumed by it. This impacted on the ‘father and son relationship’ with my dad who, on reflection, was one of the mighty warriors who started the ball rolling to make Sheffield the global sporting force it is today.

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Richard Tomlinson will run the Sheffield Half Marathon

"In contrast, my dad loved running and he would drag me to athletics at the cinder track at Hillsborough to run results across the track or mark the course in the freezing cold at 6am.”

These people helped put on Sheffield’s first marathon in 1982 and organised many more sporting events, culminating for David with the World Student Games in 1991.

Richard said: “Without these amazing individuals would we be where we are today? Probably not. If we didn’t have these people who sacrificed very nearly everything, including financially and emotionally with their families, we may not have the likes of Lord Coe or Dame Jess.”

He decided to run after noticing the pounds piling on following the death of his pet dog.

Richard Tomlinson will run the Sheffield Half Marathon

Richard said: “My partner, who had taken up running a few years before, talked me into ‘Couch to 5k’. Watching my partner do her first half, I realised that if it wasn’t for dad, this race may never have happened. It brought back many memories - I loved my dad very much - and I thought what would be a more fitting tribute.”

He is not running for a specific charity but asked for £1 donations to be made to a cause of your choice and marked ‘Rich’s Run’.