8th September 2017

Widnes Vikings Director, Brian O’Connor, will be hitting the road back to the North East this weekend to take part in the 2017 Simpyhealth Great North Run. 

Brian will be representing the Vikings in the largest half marathon event in the world and is looking to raise further funding for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, continuing the fundraising efforts by the Vikings which has seen the Club raise over £80,000 in the past three years.

We caught up with Brian to find out how he got involved with the run: 

“Obviously, we have formed a strong relationship with the Foundation over the past three years and both the Club and our fantastic supporters have raised a huge amount of money to support their work.

“I was asked by Lady Elsie Robson at this year’s Magic Weekend if I would consider taking part in the Great North Run and joining the Foundation team. Running was never something that I enjoyed and carrying a 16 ½ stone frame over a 13 mile distance didn’t exactly sound appealing, but I felt that it would be poor form to say no to the invite!

“This year has obviously had its challenges and to some extent, training each evening has helped to relieve a lot of the day to day stresses of working in such a performance driven environment. Although, for every pound raised in sponsorship, I think I have matched that on clothes as I appear to be leaving a couple of kilo’s on the tarmac!

Brian has set a target sponsorship figure of £18,000 and we were curious where this amount came from:

“£18,000 would take the total figure raised by the Vikings to £100,000 which would be an absolutely incredible achievement. I knew when I set this figure that it was going to be a tough ask, but I am a great believer in thinking big. At the end of the day, every penny helps and any figure raised by the initiative will help the Foundation in their efforts to treat and fight cancer.

“I don’t think that there are many people who have not encountered cancer at some point of their lives, whether personally or have had loved ones who have been affected. It is a cruel disease and can strike anybody at any time so whilst I am ‘nearly’ young enough and ‘almost’ fit enough, I want to play my part in the fight against cancer."

If you would like to sponsor Brian and make a donation to the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, you can visit his JustGiving page by CLICKING HERE.

Alternatively, you can text to donate £2, £5 or £10. Text SBRF79 followed by the amount that you’d like to give (including £ sign)) to 70070 - for example, ‘SBRF79 £10’.