A man dressed as Fred Flintstone will run the Hastings Half Marathon for the tenth and final time this year.
Paul Teague, of Freeman Avenue in Eastbourne, has taken on the challenging 13-mile race for the last nine years in memory of his sister, who had diabetes.
He said: “I decided to run as Fred Flintstone to raise money for Diabetes UK as my sister had diabetes. My aim was to run with my bucket from my 50th birthday to my 60th birthday, so Fred will be hanging up his trainers in early April.
“I started to run after my sister was in hospital having two toes removed. Two years later, after many hospital visits due to diabetes, she lost her sight completely. One year later, she passed away, before kidney dialysis could begin. I was three years into my challenge.
“It’s heartbreaking to lose your younger and only sister, but I decided to carry on as a tribute to her.”
As well as raising money for Diabetes UK, Paul also fundraises for a small charity called See Ability, which cares for blind and partially-sighted people who may also have other disabilities.
He added: “When I heard they needed funds for new garden furniture, I dedicated my fundraising for them and raised enough to buy an eight-seater table and chairs with a parasol and a swing chair.
“A couple of months passed after they had made their purchase, and I was invited to visit. It was a beautiful sunny afternoon and we had tea and a cake that had been baked by one of the residents. It was good to see what the money was spent on and gave me a memory that will stay with me for a long time.”
Paul has managed to raise an incredible £19,638 so far, but would really love to hit the £20,000 before he hangs up his trainers. This year, he is running for the British Heart Foundation having lost both his parents to heart problems.
He said: “I would like to take the opportunity to thank all the Hastings Half Marathon supporters who have cheered me on and thrown coins into my bucket for the last ten years.
“In my ten years of running, I have raised £19,638, which is quite unbelievable, but it would be great to top £20,000. With a good collection and sponsoring from friends and family, I hope this will be possible,
“If I was to sum up my ten years as Fred, I would say hard work, emotional but most of all, great fun.
“Hard work, because I’m not an athlete – I’m a charity plodder and my knees don’t like me at times.
“Emotional because of the reasons why I run and the loss I have had. “And great fun – I have high-fived every young boy and girl on the run route and some mums and dads, and I would like to say thank you to The London Trader who play the B52s The Flintstones as I run past. I will have a celebratory drink there this year.
“There have been many funny incidents and I’ve met lots of nice people. I could not have done it without you and I applaud you, and you have my most sincere thanks.”