Police officer’s challenge for Crimestoppers charity

DC Gary Blackburn running the Leicester half marathon. (S)
DC Gary Blackburn running the Leicester half marathon. (S)

A police officer from Harrogate is to attempt the London Marathon to raise money for Crimestoppers.

DC Gary Blackburn, from Harrogate CID, is now in training for the race on April 21.

He has chosen to raise money for the charity Crimestoppers as it is one he works with closely and in recognition of the work they do.

“I’ve always wanted to do the London Marathon, and I chose Crimestoppers as they do such amazing work,” he said.

“We work very closely with them in CID, and I wanted to do my bit.

“The Crimestoppers team is made up of volunteers, which many people don’t realise.

“But about 22 people are arrested every day because of what they do.

“I’ve been a victim of crime myself and I know how horrible it can be.

“Any information that comes to us from Crimestoppers can help police officers solve and prevent crimes, and I want to do my bit to help support them.”

DC Blackburn joined North Yorkshire Police two and a half years ago after six years with Thames Valley Police.

He started with the Harrogate Safer Neighbourhood Team, covering New Park, Bilton and the town centre for about eight months.

He joined Harrogate CID in August last year.

Although a keen runner, the 38-year-old has never completed attempted anything like this before.

“I’ve done the Leicester and Liversedge half marathons, and I’ve got the Leeds half marathon coming up,” he said.

“But I’ve never done a full marathon before.

“Since I got my place with Crimestoppers I’ve been running all the time.

“I started training in August, running four or five miles and then 10, and then up to a half marathon at a time.

“I’m now up to about 20 mile runs, but I want to be doing more.

“My goal is to complete it within three hours and 50 minutes. I will be happy with anything under four hours.

“I just have to get the training in, I try and run three or four times a week.

“My only strategy is not to go too fast. I will be setting off slowly, trying to plan it right and keep within eight or nine minute miles.”

DC Blackburn hopes to raise £1,500 for Crimestoppers.

To sponsor him visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/garyblackburn

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