Clipstone dad running London Marathon to raise money in memory of baby daughter

Neil at the end of the Mansfield 10K
Neil at the end of the Mansfield 10K

Running a marathon is not an easy thing to do - especially when you have never attempted one before and have 'dodgy knees.'

Neil Harris is taking on the challenge of running gruelling 26,2 miles at the London Marathon to raise money for a foundation started by him and his wife Clare.

Emily Harris

Emily Harris

The Emily Harris Foundation, which is celebrating its tenth year supporting the neonatal unit at King's Mill Hospital was started in 2008.

Emily Nasia Harris was born six weeks premature, weighing 3lb ½oz, suffering from a serious heart condition, Truncus Arteriosis, and also had problems growing in the womb.

Despite this Emily, who spent a lot of time at King's Mill's finally went home three months after her birth.

After contracting a virus, Emily passed away in her Mum Clare's arms on February 1, 2007.

Clare, 41 and Neil, also 41, from Clipstone are determined to keep her memory alive they started the charity to help support the ward which gave them "wonderful care".

Now Neil, who has only been running for three years has currently raised £2,000 from people who are sponsoring him in the race.

Neil who works as a headteacher near Doncaster has said he was "lucky enough" to get a spot in the race on Sunday, April 22 when the charity applied for a place.

He said: "I've never run a marathon before but, dodgy knees aside, I am really looking forward to the event and raising lots more money for the foundation.

"It takes over your life, I am doing well I made it to 22 miles in the snow."

Neil has only run half marathons, taking part in the Retford Half Marathon and the Mansfield 10K in the past.

He said: "When I got the text to tell me I was in I was happy but then thought, what have I done.

"The amount that has been raised so far is incredible.

"The money raised is going to make a big difference."

Jason Hastings, whose wife works at the neonatal unit at the hospital is also running the marathon to raise money for the foundation.

Keep an eye out for them both Neil’s bib number is 53780 and Jason’s is 2656.

There is also still plenty of time to sponsor the runners visit https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/neilharris99 for Neil or www.virginmoneygiving.com and search 'Jason Hastings' to sponsor Jason.