A runner from Wakefield will be entering the half marathon again to raise money for Motor Neurone Disease. 

Paula Maguire, 43, has run the 13.1 miles several times for the MND Association. 

It began in 2009, when her uncle was diagnosed with the condition. 

Despite being told that he had two to five years to live, he passed away only nine weeks later. 

Paula said: “Ever since my uncle’s illness, I wanted to raise awareness for the condition, as well as help fundraise for the MND Association.

“Although I had done it a couple of times in the past, I decided I wanted to run the Great North Run in 2010 in his memory. 

“This year will be my ninth time running in the event.”

She will be joined by thousands of runners on Sunday 10 September at the Simplyhealth Great North Run. 

However, Paula’s support of the MND Association goes beyond the half marathon. 

In 2015, she received the Pride of Britain Award for her hard work in supporting the charity, all stemming from one video that went viral online. 

Paula said: “I first saw the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS on TV when Barack Obama was challenged to do it in America. 

“I wanted to make people aware that ALS is a form of MND, so I set up a JustGiving page to bring it to the UK and hopefully raise £500.

“My husband did the first Ice Bucket Challenge, which we posted on social media to try to involve our friends and family.”

Instead, it spread across the internet, with over £4 million being donated to Paula’s page. 

In addition to this, £3.1 million went directly to the MND Association, bringing their total to over £7 million.

She said: “I never expected it to take off like it did and I was completely amazed.

“It is a fantastic feeling knowing that this has helped so many people and continues to do so, by funding research projects, new MND centres, and providing support too.

“It keeps me motivated to continue doing what I do. 

“I have met so many people who have MND, live with people with MND or who have lost their loved ones to the condition, so being able to make a difference to their lives is so rewarding.”

Paula added: “I have no intention of stopping any time soon.”

Support Paula’s individual fundraising page here.

For more information about the Simplyhealth Great North Run, visit our website.