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George Caulkin

10 years of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation

Total raised so far £0.00

Target £0.00

Total plus Gift Aid: £0.00

Raised offline: £0.00

My story

[p]2018 marks the 10th birthday of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and I’m going to (try to ) run at least 10 events in Bobby’s memory; 10 runs for 10 years, including the London Marathon, the Paris Marathon, the Great North Run, the Big Half, the Great Manchester Run, the Northumberland Coastal Run and the Kielder Half Marathon. There will be proof (mainly pictures of me crying, I suspect), on my Twitter account @CaulkinTheTimes. This page is to cover all those events. Any sponsorship is hugely appreciated, thank you.[/p][p]During the last decade countless people have become members of what Sir Bobby called “his last and greatest team,” raising more than £12m to help fund cancer research and treatment projects across the north east and Cumbria, through the NHS. It’s a brilliant charity. We have no permanent members of staff and no professional fundraisers, relying completely on volunteers and incredible generosity. Nothing makes me happier in this world than being a patron of the Foundation.[/p][p]From a young age, Bobby was a hero of mine (I followed him to Langley Park Infants School). I was writing for The Times as their north east football man when he came home to Newcastle United. He wrote a column for the paper which I ghosted for him and I helped him with his final book, about Newcastle the club and city. So he went from being a hero to a colleague to a mentor and finally, a friend. Like many people who knew and loved him, I was desperate to make him proud. [/p][p]The day after he died, I wrote about Sir Bobby and what he meant to me for The Times. That piece is reproduced here. [url=http://sirbobbyrobsonfoundation.org.uk/the-bobby-robson-i-knew-and-loved/]http://sirbobbyrobsonfoundation.org.uk/the-bobby-robson-i-knew-and-loved/[/url][/p][p]And this is something on Sir Bobby’s legacy, written for the Foundation’s website: [url=http://sirbobbyrobsonfoundation.org.uk/sir-bobbys-legacy/]http://sirbobbyrobsonfoundation.org.uk/sir-bobbys-legacy/[/url] [/p][p]Bobby had cancer five times. In spite of that, he was always an optimist - in terms of a cure, he always talked about when rather than if. With the help of his greatest team, every day Bobby’s ‘when’ comes that little bit closer. Thank you for your support. George. X[/p][p]*****[/p][p]* I completed the Big Half on Sunday March 4. This page was active then but beyond sponsoring myself I hadn’t done anything about it. I tore my calf last October, had to start all over again and didn’t want to commit to this challenge unless I had a decent chance of success. It was a gorgeous day in London after a week of snow, I set off like a lunatic and struggled from the third mile onwards! A painful but valuable lesson. Got round in 1hr 50.45 which was fine for a marathon training run, but the second half was very slow. On to Paris! [/p][p]** Paris Marathon. Well ... that didn’t go well. That didn’t go well at all. The first half was perfect - steady pace (unlike above), rehydrated well, Paris looked gorgeous - but it disintegrated very quickly after that. Perhaps it was the heat, perhaps I had a little bug, but I cramped up in both calves, upper and lower thighs, I was sick, I wobbled and I stumbled and I walked a lot towards the end (the photo split into four segments tells the story of my day!). In those moments, the mind can be very cruel; I was a failure, I was letting people down. I finished 30 minutes slower than last year - I couldn’t run further than a couple of hundred metres at a time without seizing up - but I did finish and when I got to the end, I looked at this page and was blown away by all the sponsorship. Thank you so much. I staggered to the Metro wearing my medal. When I stood up for my stop a little boy said to his mam, “look, he won the gold!”. That set me off a bit. [/p][p]*** London Marathon. Wow. That. Was. Hot. But Paris is now banished. I loved it on Sunday - sort of. I loved the experience, the atmosphere, the wonderful, supportive crowds, the incredible volunteers. I loved London and its people. I love that I took the pressure off myself and forgot about going for a time, accepted the conditions, made it my mission to smile as much as possible and learnt from what I’d been through two weeks earlier. I was cheered on every step of the way. I dedicated my run to Lee Hope and his family and friends and I took inspiration from them. Lee was diagnosed with bowel cancer two years ago; nine weeks later, he passed away. Scott, Amy and the rest have been huge supporters of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation. In spirit, they pulled me round on Sunday. They made me think about suffering and sacrifice and put it in perspective. A marathon takes your body and mind to places you can’t imagine, but that perspective is important. In the final few miles, it got me through. Thank you to them, to London and for all the wonderful donations. [/p][p]**** Sunderland City Half Marathon, Sunday May 13. Crammed 13 miles between Middlesbrough’s game the night before and Newcastle later that day. I was a bit sweaty at St James’ Park, still wearing my finisher’s shirt and my medal! I ran this with Yvonne, a friend, who pushed me round at just under 8 minute mile piece, which I was amazed with - haven’t done any pace running - and I finished in 1.42:53. Very happy. It was cool with lots of hills and not many people on the streets, which represented a different sort of challenge. Still felt the spirit of London though. On to Manchester next weekend![/p][p]***** Great Manchester Run Sunday May 20. Today I thought about Liam Curry and Chloe Rutherford, 12 months on from the Manchester Arena bombing. Liam raised funds for Sir Bobby at the age of 14 when his grandad was diagnosed with cancer. He carried on fundraising when Andrew, his dad, was also diagnosed. As the Foundation put it, Liam was “an outstanding young man.” Caroline, his mam, asked that I ran “in celebration of Liam’s life,” and I did, running for Liam and Chloe and smiling on the way. What an emotional day and what another baking run. Two half marathons in the space of a week didn’t feel too bad and enjoyed snaking around both Manchester football stadiums. Very pleased with my time of 1.40.27, but look at my grimace at the end. That was tough![/p][p]****** The Blaydon Race, ‘twas on the 9th of June (obviously). I love this race and I love this celebration of Newcastle, the city and its traditions. Today felt much bigger as an occasion and (a theme of this year), it was very hot again. I like starting near the back and soaking up the atmosphere and then trying to pick up the pace as I go along. This will be the shortest run of the year all being well. Tomorrow I’m off to Russia! [/p][p]******* Northumberland Coastal Run, Sunday July 29. 14 miles from Beadnell down to Alnmouth, across beaches and tide pools, along dunes, roads and coastal paths. Sounds idyllic, but today was brutal! Gale force winds and driving rain into the face. Setting off was a real spectacle, 1000 people spread across the beach, but your feet are soaking within a few hundred metres, it was impossible to look up and I felt my knee go after about 9 miles. I still had some energy at the end, but that was really hard. One of the toughest runs I’ve done. Lovely camaraderie en route and nice support from walkers and volunteers. And we’re over £3000 now which is amazing. Thank you so much to everyone who donated today and had already done so. I’m sore and damp but very pleased. Only three more to go! [/p]
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Personal Challenge Date

31 Dec 2018


Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Charity

Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Charity



Mr G

Well done again George. Good luck for the last two! Mr G.

£50.00 plus £12.50 Gift Aid


Tony Banks

Brilliant effort, George.

£15.00 plus £3.75 Gift Aid



Fantastic work for the charity, well done on your efforts for a great cause. Sir Bobby was an inspiration. Also thank you for your support in striving to report the going on's at Nufc. HWTL.

£5.00 plus £1.25 Gift Aid



Fantastic effort George, have a great day.

£10.00 plus £2.50 Gift Aid


Helen Atkinson

Good Luck

£5.00 plus £1.25 Gift Aid



Good luck. Try not to cry

£30.00 plus £7.50 Gift Aid



Good luck George. Have a great day x



Paul Smith

Good luck, George! I need to give you my Great North Run album for your headphones!



Marc D

George, your efforts never fail to amaze me. Great work.

£20.00 plus £5.00 Gift Aid



From all the lads on the Ark Royal.

£5.00 plus £1.25 Gift Aid