Robert Whitehouse, who has worked for Stagecoach North East on supporting its IT services across the north east for the last 15 years, decided to run his first major race since he was a teenager and signed up for this year’s Redcar Half Marathon.
The inspiration for attempting the gruelling 13 mile race was to raise around £500 for the South Tees Hospital Neonatal Special Care Unit, which Robert and his wife Claire have much praise for thanks to their support five years ago.
Robert explains: “I’m a dad who knows exactly what parents of the babies that need this unit go through and I’d like the Neonatal Unit at James Cook Hospital to be able to carry on helping others in the future, so I decided to run in the Redcar Half Marathon.
“Nearly five years ago our daughter, to our shock and surprise, was born eight weeks premature and weighed just 4lb 11oz. She was our first born and after her birth she was immediately taken from us and whisked off to the Neonatal unit. We were terrified but we needn’t have been, as the care that she received in those first 25 days of her life that she spent there was truly incredible. It was the hardest time of our entire lives but was made as bearable as it could be by each and every one of the outstanding staff that helped us and our tiny baby. So I swore I would try to help them one day and give something back.”
Despite not running for years, Robert had a great race and managed an amazing time of 1 hour 54 minutes, coming 517 out of 926. After setting up a Just Giving page, Robert has been overwhelmed with the response, with a current total of £1436.54 including a £100 donation from Stagecoach North East, smashing his goal of £500.