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Bill Cooksey's on the Road Again!

The intrepid Bill Cooksey has done it again – on 10th September he completed the A J Bell Great North run in just 5 hours and 41 minutes, and we’re proud to say he did all his training using a stroller donated by Medequip!

At 102, Bill is the oldest participant ever to take part in the race. He’s no stranger to physical achievement – he’s been fundraising for the NHS since the COVID epidemic, and has already completed a 100 mile walk and a 1000 mile trike ride, raising thousands of pounds. He was accompanied on the course by the CEO of the local NHS Trust, in recognition of his fundraising achievements, and supported by friend Gavin Iceton.

The elements certainly conspired to make it difficult for Bill on the day. The highest temperature ever recorded at the start of a Great North Run was posted as he set off. By the end, it was also the wettest ever, with Bill completing the last three miles of the course in biblical rain, wading through puddles!

All of which meant that the tents at the end of the course were flooded out, so although Bill got his medal, he didn’t get the T-shirt. This was put right by former athlete Brendan Foster, founder of the Great North Run, who visited Bill a couple of weeks later to present him with a signed T-shirt and to re-present his medal to him, alongside other memorabilia. He’s now the poster boy for the event - apparently video of him completing the course has been viewed over 3 million times on Facebook!

Bill’s officially a local legend. They’re unveiling a plaque to him at ROF 59, a former World War II munitions factory in Newton Aycliffe which now serves as a mixed leisure facility. Following this, he’ll be part of a double decker celebration ride to a local brewery where they’re naming a beer in his honour!

This isn’t the last we’ll hear of Bill – he already has plans in place for future fundraising exploits!

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