9-year-old Jacob Hopper started running with his dad four years ago. Since then, he has raised over £5,000 for charity by completing running-related challenges and has now set his sights on racing this year’s AJ Bell Junior Great North Run, on Saturday 9 September.
Hailing from South Shields – close to the Great North Run coastal finish line – he has taken part in the Mini event twice before and couldn’t wait to sign up for the Junior stream.
“I run regularly and enjoy the challenge! I run long distance and recently broke the Park Run record for under 11’s in South Shields finishing in under 20 minutes”
Whilst Jacob is now a keen member of the Jarrow and Hebburn Harriers, he initially started running because of the Covid lockdown, when all other sporting activities ceased. He quickly realised the power of running to positively impact his community and employed his new-found hobby to raise incredible amounts of money for local charities.
In November 2020, he committed to running 5 kilometres every day for a month. A year later, he successfully ran over 100 miles in a single month. In total, between those two challenges, he has contributed over £5,000 to local food banks and children’s charities, including Hebburn Helps and Westoe Crown Primary School’s hardship fund.
Both his mum and dad have previously completed the Great North Run, and his younger sister Anna will be taking part in the AJ Bell Mini event this year.
The AJ Bell Junior & Mini Great North Run is the UK’s biggest and best kids running event. Taking place on 9 September on the Newcastle Gateshead Quayside, with plenty of encouragement and high fives from the crowds, it’s an action-packed day with an atmosphere like no other.
Mini runners aged 3-8 take on a daring 1.2km dash, while Juniors aged 9-16 tackle a 4km supercharged sprint.
For more information visit: www.greatrun.org/events/junior-mini-great-north-run