Sunday, June 16, 2024


COUSINS Ryan Hand and Thomas Jennings completed a threemarathon fundraising challenge recently when the former crossed the finish line in Dublin. Earlier this year, Ryan and Thomas decided to take part in three marathons for three cancer charities in memory of three special ladies – Thomas’s sister, Nolene Jennings, Ryan’s mother Pauline Hand, and Ryan and Thomas’s aunt, Eileen Clarke. In total they raised over £15,000 for Marie Curie, the Cancer Fund for Children and The Institute of Cancer Research. “The Dublin Marathon was brilliant,” Ryan said. “I have done the London Marathon three times. “I thought the Dublin Marathon felt different. “I felt it to be easier. It felt like a lot of it was downhill. “The people were fantastic. It rained all the time, but the people were great and they cheered us on. “The highlight was when a guy in the crowd shouted at me ‘Go Ryan, you are flying’. I had my name on my shirt you see. “I just felt how brilliant people can be.”

Ryan, a well-known television and radio presenter from Newcastle, and Thomas ran the London Marathon earlier this year, and raised £8,000 for The Institute of Cancer Research. Then in May it was time for the Belfast Marathon, when they were part of a massive family relay that included almost 40 people. They raised £2,500 for the Cancer Fund for Children, and £4026 for Marie Curie. On Sunday the 29th of October, Ryan ran in Dublin for Marie Curie. Thomas had hoped to run the event but had to pull out due to injury. Ryan is an ambassador for the charity. Through the marathon and also a recent pub quiz that took place in the Harbour Inn in Newcastle they raised £4,000 in total. “I have done quite a few marathons over the last couple of years,”

Ryan explained. “This year my cousin said he wanted to do three marathons for three very important people, Nolene, Eileen and Pauline. “It has been a really good way to get our whole family together. “The ladies would be proud of us.” He said he has been impressed by the support their fundraising has received from the community. “I was pleased with the amounts. “You are asking the same people to donate, that is hard, but they still donate, they have donated consistently. “People are so generous.” In total, Ryan has raised £16,000 for Marie Curie. He will run the London Marathon again next year. Marathon running comes easy to him seemingly, and at the recent Dublin Marathon he achieved a personal best time of three hours 35 minutes. “Running just comes naturally to me. “I don’t have to do an awful lot of training runs. I have always been able to run.”

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