Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Local marathon man in the running for Pride of Britain award

Newry runner Sean Smith’s tireless fundraising for the Southern Area Hospice has been recognised with a nomination for a Pride of Britain Award.

Sean has run all six of the World Marathon Majors in aid of Hospice care, raising almost £40,000 along the way.  He made history last February when he crossed the finish line of the Tokyo marathon to become the first Irishman to complete all six of the Majors

In addition to the World Majors, Sean has taken on London three times and is now half way around his second lap of the Majors, continuing to raise much needed funds for the Hospice in all of his marathon endeavours.

Speaking to The Examiner about his “surprise” nomination for the Pride of Britain Award Sean explained how he knew nothing about it until he received a phone call while on holiday abroad in August, asking for contact details for his 10 year old niece Chloe Meehan who, unknown to Sean, had nominated her uncle for the award.

“First, I refused to give out Chloe’s details as she’s only 10, and even when he said that Chloe had nominated someone for a Pride of Britain Award, I still had no idea he was talking about me!” said Sean.

Once he discovered he was the nominee in question, Sean says he was “humbled” that his proud niece would choose to put his name forward for such an accolade.

The modest runner and Personal Trainer plays down his amazing achievements, giving credit instead to the generosity of those who have donated to his fundraising efforts over the years.

“I couldn’t have done all this without the help and generosity from local people throughout the years. It’s very humbling to be recognised for something like this and I have to thank Chloe for nominating me.”  Whatever happens now, Sean says he’s “delighted to have even been nominated” and hopes the recognition will help to raise the profile of the Southern Area Hospice and their continued need for fundraising.

Congratulating Sean on his nomination, Southern Area Hospice Fundraising Manager, Majella Gollogly said,

“Sean has shown great commitment to supporting the SAHS not only in the training required to complete the 6 majors but also in  his fundraising for the Hospice. We are indebted to Sean and people like Sean who support the Hospice – we must raise £2.3million to continue to provide the range of care for our patients.

“We are delighted Chloe nominated her Uncle Sean and congratulate him on being shortlisted for the Pride of Britain Awards.”

Sean has been nominated for the Local Fundraiser of the Year Award 2015, one of  the Daily Mirror’s Pride of Britain Awards which celebrate the achievements of “truly remarkable people who make our world a better place.”  He is one of 4 nominees from Northern Ireland who will be whittled down to a shortlist from which the judging panel will choose the winners to be honoured at a glittering ceremony at an exclusive London venue at the end of September.

Viewers can tune in to see Sean’s interview with UTV, alongside Hospice Fundraising Manager Majella Gollogly, this Thursday evening as part of UTV’s special coverage of the 4 Northern Ireland Pride of Britain nominees which begins tonight (Monday).