Real deal Ralph flies HY flag in Sunderland half marathon

HY Runners very own ‘real deal’ John Ralph made the 336-mile drive north to compete in the highly respected Sunderland City half marathon

Friday, 25th June 2021, 4:00 pm
John Ralph with his Sunderland medal

He wantedto secure a good time and to support his friend Grant Lawson as they both raise much needed funds for North East Dementia Care.

The 45-year-old travelled from his home in Kent to meet Sunderland-based Grant to become the first pair to run the race for the charity.

Ralph soon found out the course was a lot more hilly than he had initially anticipated and had no less than 56 turns.

His fellow HY Runners were eagerly cheering him on via a live stream that the competition organisers had installed.

Ralph competed the course in an incredible time of 1:25:03 and said afterwards: “The course was a lot harder than I thought but all in all I’m happy. I wanted to run under 1:25 and very nearly did.

“I ran a lot of the course alone so it was a tough one with all the hills and turns, but it’s done now and my mate Grant was amazing too.

“I think we have raised £2000 for his local charity so they’re the winners.”

HY head coach Terry Skelton said: “John has a huge personality and is a big member of our running club, he is always at the forefront of the laughter and gives as good as he gets.

“Apart from being a very good runner he has an amazing tan and has a likeness to the TV personality David Dickinson, that’s why we call him the ‘Real Deal’.

“In fairness to John he does work very hard. He enjoys his life but is dedicated to his sport and is a very good athlete at multiple distances.

“He was so close to another PB but with the hills and turns it just wasn’t to be.

“But all in all he has done amazingly and has raised a lot of money for his chosen charity. He’s a real Bobby Dazzler!”