Family, friends and supporters turned out to cheer charity fundraiser Tony ‘The Fridge’ Phoenix-Morrison across the finish line for his last solo half marathon run before the Great North Run.
Tony, of Hebburn, will complete his challenge of running 30 consecutive half marathons carrying a fridge on Sunday 16 September at the Great North Run.
He is raising money for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and people from across the region came together to give him a rousing send off as he crossed the finish line for the 29th time.
The Geordie Chapter of the Harley Davidson Club and Tony’s under 14s football team also joined Tony for the last mile of the run, creating a great spectacle in the sunshine along the coast road in South Shields.
The team making arrangements for tomorrow’s event have supported Tony every day and opened the famous Great North Run finish line especially for him and cheered him across.
Tony says: “I feel really honoured by all the wonderful support today and every day. Everybody coming together like this and celebrating what we’ve achieved is just fantastic.
“The success of the fund-raising really is testament to how much Sir Bobby was loved and, sadly, because so many people are affected by cancer. I’ve heard all kinds of really touching stories from people as I’ve been running and I’ve been in tears some days.
“It’s been an honour to carry out this challenge. I worked really hard to prepare for is and I’ve got stronger as it’s gone on.
“I’ve got the run itself tomorrow but it’ll probably be the Great North Walk because I’ll be stopping to say hello to people on the way. I’m just going to take my time and enjoy it.
“I am a little bit broken but I won’t take long to repair. I stopped drinking for this challenge and I’ve never wanted a pint of lager more in my life.”
Tony has been supported every day by his wife Janita who drives him to the start line, meets him half way with hot tea and snacks and then collects him at the finish line in South Shields.
In addition, Tony’s colleague Matt Norcliffe from Pelaw cycled behind him each day to provide support en route.
While Tony’s last fridge run will be the Great North Run, he is also planning to run the route the following day without the white goods “just for fun and dressed like the legend that is Brendan Foster.”
You can also follow Tony’s progress via Twitter @tony_the_fridge. To support him and donate to the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation please visit www.justgiving.com/tonythefridge.
Sir Bobby and Lady Elsie launched the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation in 2008 and it has gone on to raise over £4 million to help find more effective treatments for cancer.
It funds projects within the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust that directly benefit cancer patients from across the north east and Cumbria, and which contribute significantly to research into the disease.
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