A harworking Yorkshire businessman ran a marathon and worked on a major industry exhibition on the same day after accidentally double-booking himself for both events
Graham Connell, 54, from Morley near Leeds, signed up for the Great North Run but realised afterwards that he was also booked in to exhibit at one the UK’s biggest wedding industry shows at Harrogate International Centre on the same day.
Graham, who runs two successful bridal wear companies, entered the Great North Run to raise money for the Meningitis Research Foundation. Determined not to let the charity or his colleagues down, Graham decided the show and the Marathon must go on.
“I applied for the Great North Run eight months ago not realising it was on the same day as the show,” he said.
“It’s been on my bucket list for a while and I wanted to raise money for research into meningitis after my wife contracted it at the end of last year and spent six months in hospital and two in intensive care.
“I left Harrogate at 6am on Sunday, drove to South Shields near the finish line then got the bus to the start in Newcastle with the other 56,000 competitors.”
Graham finished the 13 mile course in a respectable one hour and 50 minutes but while many of the runners were headed for a much needed afternoon of rest, Graham’s day was just getting started.
“I walked the mile slowly back to my car and I was back on the stand at Harrogate International Centre by 3.30pm.”
Speaking the day after his gruelling schedule, he said: “I’m fine; my legs are a bit sore though. It was painful but definitely worth it.”
Graham said he had so far raised £1200 for the Meningitis Research Foundation but said money was still coming in.