Off to New York to run his first marathon
(8 November 2004)
When you decide to run your first marathon you may as well make it a truly long-distance affair and that’s exactly what University of Durham research worker Neil Defty will be doing this weekend.
Neil, who is a project team leader in the University’s Curriculum, Evaluation and Management Centre, is taking part in the New York Marathon and he is aiming to finish about 45 minutes behind Paula Radcliffe.
Neil, who is 35 and hails from Crossgate in Durham City, started running just five years ago and has taken part in a couple of Great North Runs, the Blaydon Races and has been unsuccessful in trying to enter the London Marathon.
He is running in aid of the Marie Curie cancer charity and is hoping to add to the £400 already pledged from family, friends and colleagues. There are 35,000 runners, including a contingent of 3,000 British entrants
Having completed 20-mile training runs, and the 2004 Great North Run in just over 90 minutes, Neil is confident that he can finish his first full marathon in about three hours 45 minutes despite the setback of a having incurred a groin injury during training.
After a few sessions of massage, ultrasound and advice from the sports physiotherapists at the University’s Maiden Castle sports centre, Neil has resumed training after securing his number in New York York.
He chose do to the fundraising run in aid of the memory of the partner of a friend who died earlier this year and was cared for by Marie Curie staff. He will be cheered on by his wife Claire who is taking the opportunity to do her own shopping marathon while in New York.
Neil said: “I was amazed when I learned that my application had been successful. I had already determined that I wanted to do a full marathon, and after being disappointed with the London Marathon I had not expected to be accepted for the New York Marathon.”
Anyone wanting to sponsor Neil can make a cheque payable to 'Marie Curie Cancer Care’ and send it to: Neil Defty, CEM Centre, Mountjoy Research Centre 4, Durham University, Stockton Road, DH1 3UZ.
Or pay directly to a Marie Curie centre (call 0800 716146 or see www.mariecurie.org.uk).
Media enquiries to: Tom Fennelly, Public Relations Office, University of Durham
Tel. 0191 334 6078 or e-mail: email@example.com