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Dad-of-two completes first great North Run after losing his dad to diabetes

A Ripon councillor has completed his first half marathon after taking part in Sunday’s Simply Health Great North Run for Diabetes UK.

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Councillor Stuart Martin, 62, took on the challenge after losing his father, Ronald, to diabetes-related complications and receiving his own Type 2 diabetes diagnosis.

Stuart, a retired firefighter, said: “My father found it difficult to control his diabetes which led to him losing his leg and the deterioration of his health. I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes seven years ago and hadn’t had the best control of my condition.” Dad-of-two Stuart, took on the run with his eldest daughter Gemma, 36.

I watched last year’s Great North Run and listened to people as they told their stories about why they were taking part. I quickly realised how lucky I was with my life; I knew I needed to challenge myself and that I had no excuses. I called my daughter Gemma, she agreed to sign up with me and I embarked on a training regime. The first few runs were the hardest but the feeling afterwards made me keep up the training.” Stuart

Officially the world’s biggest half marathon, the race saw over 50,000 runners take on the 13.1 mile route and absorb views of some of the North East’s most iconic landmarks including the Tyne Bridge and The Sage taking runners from Newcastle City Centre to the coast in South Shields.

Stuart, who finished the run in 3 hours and 15 minutes, said: “I was truly amazed and humbled by some of the people taking part in the race. The support we received as we ran around was incredible, people were so kind giving sweets and drinks. To hear people cheering your name just spurred you on. We will certainly be back to take part in the race next year.”

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