Sheffield runners went the full distance for charities

Chair of the SIG Insulation Sheffield Half Marathon, Margaret Lilley presents ten nominated charities with fundraising cheque
Chair of the SIG Insulation Sheffield Half Marathon, Margaret Lilley presents ten nominated charities with fundraising cheque
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A baby girl battling a brain tumour provided the inspiration for a remarkable fundraising feat in the Sheffield Half Marathon.

Team Izzy - named after one-and-a-half year old Frecheville tot Isabelle Smith - collected for the hospital which treated the youngster after she was diagnosed last December.

Dad Matt Smith took on the 13-mile route with friends and family to raise a total of £7,920.22 for Sheffield Children’s Hospital, making them the biggest fundraising team to take part.

Their story was just one of those shared as race organisers honoured the most successful fundraisers at a special awards ceremony.

The total amount being donated to 10 chosen local charities off the back of their efforts was unveiled as £105,000.

Margaret Lilley, chairwoman of the Sheffield Half Marathon said: “The guiding principle for the half marathon is raising funds for our fantastic chosen charities, and we have done just that in 2013.

“To break the £100,000 mark is incredible in these tough times and I know that every penny raised helps a local person in need.”

This year, 6,400 people took part in the event, sponsored by SIG Insulations.

It was the last time the event started and finished at Don Valley Stadium.

Michaela Bird was the top individual fundraiser, collecting £2,185 for St Luke’s Hospice and Kate Heath came second, raising £1,735.38 for Breast Cancer Care, while Paul Holmes was third with £1,190.23 for Sheffield Children’s Hospital Charity.

Team Izzy beat off stiff competition from last year’s winners Team ToD, which raises money to help Sheffield youngsters with diabetes manage their condition, which came a close second.

Matt said: “Izzy is absolutely beautiful and so intelligent. Her development is coming along phenomenally and the oncologist has recently told us that the tumor is low grade to which we are very relieved about.

“I had to run the course with two knee supports on each knee because of the pain I suffered in training and I wasn’t hugely confident about my chances when I started.

“The support of the crowds is fantastic though and they helped to keep me going.”

The long-term efforts of another Sheffield Children’s Hospital Charity fundraiser were also recognised when Christopher Gold picked up the ‘Man of Steel Award’.

The 25-year-old former patient, and his dad Stewart completed the course despite Christopher having a condition which meant he could not walk until he was five.

Both ran as a way of saying thank you to the hospital where Christopher received treatment for cerebral palsy following a diagnosis as a toddler.

Christopher said: “I used to run on the treadmill, so when dad said he was going to train I wanted to give it a go myself.”

Next year’s Sheffield Half Marathon takes place on April 6 at the new venue Don Valley Bowl.