Introducing our amazing 2020 Virtual Great North Run runners

Published: Mon, 7th September 2020, 11:54:00 AM

A massive thank you to all who took part in the virtual Great North Run on Sunday 13 September.

With the help of the official GNR our runners were able to recreate the experience and excitement of the real thing, from an up-beat warm up to chants from the crowd! The usual race format was mimicked and all runners routes were tracked throughout that their results were available when they crossed the finish line.


We are delighted to announce that the following people will be running the Great North Run in September for TOFS.

  • Peter Lowe, TOF parent
  • Marc Charnley, TOF parent. You can support Marc here
  • Chris Prickett, TOF parent. You can support Chris here
  • Gerald Hovenden, TOF relative. You can support Gerald here
  • Shaun Laycock, TOF partner.
    Stories and photos to follow.

Gerald Hovenden

I’ve been a ‘Vicar’ for most of my working life. I retired in 2017. This year’s GNR will be my 10th. On 15th April 2018 my grandson, Gideon, was born with long-gap OA. He spent the first 19 months of his life in hospital, to begin with in London and subsequently in Bristol where he underwent a jejunal transposition. He has been home with his mum and dad since November 2019. He is doing wonderfully well, though there are still hurdles to overcome and the support of TOFS is greatly appreciated and vital. It is for that reason that I am pleased to run the GNR and raise much-needed money for this charity.


Marc Charnley

My Son Dexter was born in 2019 in a local hospital and it was quickly established that something was not right. Later that afternoon we transferred to Alder Hey Hospital.

When we arrived me and my partner Liz were told that Dexter needed emergency surgery to correct his condition called tracheo-oesophageal fistula.

After a brief explanation as to what this was, Dexter was being prepared ready for surgery.  

Surgery was conducted by Prof Losty and it was revealed that Dexter had a short gap which was mended during the procedure.

Hoping that this was the start of new beginnings, after a couple of days in PICU we were sent to a different ward with the advice of buying the TOF book and joining the TOF groups Facebook page.

Myself and Liz quickly found out this was only the beginning of a long journey. Dexter developed a chyle leak, When we were finally allowed home 3 weeks later things were still not right. 

Dexter was in and out of alder hey following multiple blue episodes and it was advisedthat Dexter would require more surgery this time an operation called aortopexy.

Another month followed and Dexter grew stronger allowing time for me to read up on what exactly a TOF kid is. Dexter is now up and running like most other children his age. The  TOF charity has been a massive support with regards to advice and being able to converse with other TOFS and parents.

I feel it's only right to repay the support that TOFS has shown me and my family.

See Marc's fundraising page here

Chris Prickett

I'm planning to do the Great North Run for the TOFS charity.

Alex features quite a lot in my life, and not least the reason I'm here running. It's great to think of oneself as inspiring others (teaching...) but it is truly wonderful to be inspired by those around you. Hurdles to overcome, never giving in, getting up and carrying on as normal just when you thought it wasn't possible. That's why I'm here, supporting the charity that has supported our family and so many others over the years.

Training so far is going well, I have my half time down to under 1.55, and recently did a 50k supporting a charity runner from our village for the local food bank. (The photo is taken from that event).

Alex is a "grown -up" now, so I'm going to leave it there, thank you for reading this, and maybe think about supporting them, as they support so many.

See Chris' fundraising page here



© Tracheo-Oesophageal Fistula Support
TOFS is a Registered Charity in England and Wales (327735) and a Private Company Limited By Guarantee without Share Capital, registered in England and Wales (2202260).
Registered address: TOFS, St. George’s Centre, 91 Victoria Road, Netherfield, Nottingham NG4 2NN.
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