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PICTURES: Paul Sculthorpe says Steve Prescott's presence at St Helens 10K gave us all a lift
4:23pm Wednesday 13th March 2013 in News
PAUL Sculthorpe says the presence of the inspiring Steve Prescott at the St Helens 10K gave runners braving the bitter cold an almighty lift.
Prescott, who is battling terminal cancer, was frustrated at being unable to take part in the race after spending part of the week in hospital enduring complications of his illness.
However, he still joined an army of more than 100 volunteers from his charitable foundation who ensured the event went smoothly.
Sculthorpe, the former Saints captain who has been Prescott’s wingman on so many jaw-dropping endurance challenges, felt many of the runners drew strength from his friend’s presence in the Langtree Park stands.
Scully, who ran the course alongside his wife, Lindsay, told the Star: “It’s an absolutely fantastic turn out, especially with it being Mothers’ Day. The amount of people here shows what a great event it is.
“I must make special mention to Martin Blondel (secretary of the SPF charity), who once again has done a fantastic job and to Steve Prescott.
“Just showing his face got everyone up for it. It’s due to Steve, why this event is happening. It is testament to the man and he has definitely perked everyone up.”
The race was started by Luke Bryan, who was paralysed from the neck down while playing for Haydock under 18s in 1996.
This year’s Steve Prescott Foundation appeal, Luke Forward, aims to build a specially adapted house for the 32-year-old.
After seeing the runners on their way, Luke said: “It was a proud moment starting the race off. I was so excited and it’s a privilege to be here.”
While many runners stuck to their trainers, shorts and t-shirts, there were some more eye-catching outfits among the amateur athletes.
Darren Henderson set himself an extra challenge by running in chain-mail, which he meticulously made himself.
The 30-year-old club singer, who performs under the name Darren Michaels, also ran wearing a huge helmet and carrying a sword.
He said: “The feedback from people along the course was brilliant. I must admit it was quite heavy on the legs and it got warm. But at least going downhill, there was a bit of a breeze.”
Dave Ramsbottom was running on behalf of Rochdale Hornets, where he coaches alongside Prescott.
Dressed as the club mascot, Hercules, he explained: “It may be my first one, but I’m doing it in support of Steve’s Foundation.”
Simon Magee wore an equally striking outfit. He was dressed as a waiter in an all in one body suit, carrying a tray of glasses. Simon was running for the National Children’s Deaf Society.
He said: “I’ve dressed up, for a bit of entertainment...to do something different.”
Clare Billington, 28, a teaching assistant at Lansbury Bridge School was running with six colleagues.
They were raising money for the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital in memory of Lily Beswick, who died from cancer last November aged just 21 months.
Lily’s godmother Libby Woods, who was part of ‘Team Lily’, is a senior learning assistant at the school.
Clare said: “It was a fantastic experience and I will definitely do it again; even with all those hills.”