'Losing a child is a cruel life sentence': Mother of George Faulkner urges runners to sign up for Rainford 10K (From St Helens Star)
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'Losing a child is a cruel life sentence': Mother of George Faulkner urges runners to sign up for Rainford 10K
8:00am Saturday 14th September 2013 in News
A MOTHER is urging runners and walkers to sign up for the Rainford 10K, which is being held in the memory of her teenage son.
George Faulkner, 17, died after being in a collision with a car while crossing the East Lancs Road near to the junction with Windle Island in October 2008.
Five years on, his parents, from Rainford, are helping to organise the charity run – and are urging hundreds of St Helens people to join in on Sunday, October 6.
Sue, George’s mum, said: “The day we lost him we lost ourselves as a family – overnight we were destroyed, reduced from four to three in a few seconds.
“People tend to think that because it’s almost five years and we give the appearance of living a normal life that we have ‘got over it’, but losing a child is an unbearable and cruel life sentence.
“At the time of George’s death we were semi-respectable runners, and the boys (George and Bob) were slowly getting into it themselves.
“George was a sprinter at school and it played a key part in his football days with Rainford Rangers, where he played up to the age of 16.
“He was also an excellent swimmer, spending a brief period with Ormskirk Otters, and loved outdoor activities, travelling and, of course, his beloved Everton.
“In his last couple of years we took the family to California and Las Vegas, which he just loved, and then to Florida, which would be our last holiday together.
“When George died there was an enormous feeling of mass grief in the village – so many other parents resonated with our situation, as it could have easily been their son or daughter.
“He was an ordinary lad enjoying life to the full and had one lapse of concentration that cost him his life. How many times do we all do that – maybe teenagers slightly more so?
“Sadly, if pedestrian safety warning lights had been in place at Windle Island, if there had not been an opening in the hedge running on to the A580, if the speed limit had been set at 40mph as it is at many other junctions along the A580...well, who knows?
“Pedestrians were here long before vehicles, and local and national government should be doing more to protect the vulnerable road user.”
The family has been raising money for Brake, the national road safety charity, since George’s death and hope the charity event will rake in more funds.
Sue added: “We tried to set up the run last year but came across too many stumbling blocks, so we were determined to start it off early this year – believe it or not the first meeting with the council was in February.
“Terry Bates, who manages Rainford Running Club, has organised this sort of event before so knew the obstacles we would encounter.
“It has been a learning curve, to say the least, but we have had great support from our sponsors, especially Steve Roberts and his crew at O2 – they have very generously funded the majority of the road closures cost.
“We are hoping that the run will attract a wide variety of runners and walkers alike.
“Fast runners will be aiming to achieve a PB and get their name on the George Faulkner Memorial Trophy, while average, slower or fun runners and walkers will hopefully fulfil their wish of completing the course.
“They’ll certainly get plenty of encourage-ment, and the terrain is relatively flat.
“It will hopefully remind the public of the importance of road safety, as well as helping to remember the fun, daft lad that George was and maybe give some backing via Brake to all the supporters of an improved A570/A580 junction.
“We hope as many people as possible will join us, no matter how unfit they think they are – it’s a community gathering and, like the St Helens 10K, if there is enough interest from the community we would like to hold this as an annual event.”
Profits from the event will be divided between Brake and Help for Heroes. The latter is a charity close to Terry’s heart.
Entertainment, stalls, music, massage and therapies will be available during and after the event. Goody bags will be given to all finishers.
10K runners or walkers must pay an entrance fee of £15 (early bird rate).
The start time is 10.30am, from Rainford High Technology College.
The 1K fun run, which starts at 9.45am, is £7 for adults and £2 for children.
Enter the event – which is sponsored by More Mile, O2, The Co-operative, Alpine Podiatry Practice, Natterjack Running and Ashurst Bike Club – online (beurbest.org/rainford10k) or complete the postal entry (right) by Sunday, September 15, to get the early bird rate.
Entrants are still welcome after September 15 for an entry fee of £20.