Personal best for Spilsby's Steve Ridding in Great North Run
A Spilsby runner has achieved a personal best time in his first Great North Run since recovering from cancer.
Steve Ridding, 59, has entered the race since 2005, but was forced to sit out the event for two years after undergoing treatment for bowel cancer.
He received the all-clear last December and on Sunday notched up his record time of 1:58:41 in difficult weather conditions.
"I shaved a few seconds off my personal best in tough conditions - the weather was horrendous although there was still a great atmosphere and support. During my treatment my ambition was to run again and the consultant told me that my recovery was partly down to my fitness from running," said Steve, a self-employed builder.
This year he ran in aid of the Bobby Moore Fund, and in previous years he has raised money for the British Heart Foundation and the Royal Marsden cancer hospital, as well as to buy a teaching aid mannequin to educate nurses about how to treat severe breathing difficulties.
He has so far collected over £400 in donations, with more still to come.
"People are still coming up to me in the street and thrusting tenners into my hand! There's another £150 pledged - it's gathering momentum."
The amateur athlete didn't struggle too much to regain his fitness when training for this month's run.
"It wasn't too bad - I used to have a few months off after the Run then start again after Christmas and build it from there."
Although the thought of lacing up his running shoes sustained Steve through surgery to remove a tumour and reverse a colostomy, his Great North Run two years ago, when he ran in memory of a friend who died from cancer, was the more poignant event.
"This year wasn't as emotional as when I ran to raise money for the Royal Marsden, where Mike was treated. I was concentrating so hard on getting my time under two hours as the GNR isn't an easy place to get a personal best because of the sheer volume of people - I think you do 15 miles just weaving in and out!"
After his triumphant finish, Steve then narrowly missed being interviewed for TV by presenter Colin Jackson.
"I was about to go over and tell my story but then he grabbed a young lady from the crowd and my chance we gone!"
To donate to Steve, visit www.virginmoney.com/steveridding