Runners in touch with feminine side for Newcastle charity race
WEB DESIGNER Andy Bromage and his step-son Dan Durber insist they do not make a habit of dressing up as the fairer sex.
But the first Douglas Macmillan Fancy Drag Race yesterday saw them don their best frocks to run 2.6 miles around Newcastle town centre.
The pair joined about 70 other brave men for the race, with Andy running in memory of his parents Kath and Roy, and Dan taking part to remember his dad Richard, who died from testicular cancer.
Kath was cared for by nurses from the Blurton-based hospice at her home in Penkhull before she died in 2009.
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Just two years later, Andy's dad Roy died, aged 65, after battling a long illness with Alzheimer's.
Fifty-year-old Andy, of Basford, said: "I don't often run around in drag, so there has to be a good reason if I am going to do it!
"The Dougie Mac has helped many of my family members over the years. I lost my mum to cancer a few years ago. She was cared for by the hospice nurses who allowed her to die in her own home where she wanted.
"The hospice allows people to die with dignity and offers fantastic care to everyone"
Yesterday's event is thought to have raised £9,000 for the hospice. The idea came from a similar event which has been hosted by Ashgate Hospice, in Derbyshire, since 2010.
Nick Longmore, aged 28, from Stone, took part in the race in memory of his 49-year-old dad Kev Wood, who died at the beginning of the month after being cared for by the hospice nurses.
Nick said: "I told my dad I was doing it, I even showed him a photograph of me in my outfit and he told me that he wasn't going anywhere until he saw me do it.
"But he unfortunately died just a few weeks ago so it made me more determined than ever to complete it."
Simon Davies, of Wood Lane, has previously taken part in charity races for the hospice but admits he has never had to wear women's clothes before.
The 32-year-old said: "I didn't mind dressing up. It was a laugh and it was all for a good cause."
Simon was joined by his friend Daniel Smith for the race.
The 32-year-old, of Baldwin's Gate, who dressed up as a pantomime dame, said: "My outfit was something I had in the back of my wardrobe so I didn't have to worry too much about what to wear.
"It was a great day and was all for charity so it was a lot of fun."
Daniel Minchin, aged 21, from May Bank, said: "I re-used a dress from a fancy dress party where I dressed up as a woman.
"It was a good day, I thought it would be strange walking around Newcastle, but there was a lot of people taking part so it was OK."
The fancy drag race will make up one of a series of events lined up for next year when the Douglas Macmillan celebrates 40 years as a hospice.
Event organiser Zoe Hollingsworth said: "This is the first time we have done this race and we have had a lot of support from the lovely men of Staffordshire."