Wisbech couple has chance meeting with Mo Farah

Nicholas Okerika with Mo Farah.

Nicholas Okerika with Mo Farah. - Credit: Archant

A Wisbech couple had an unexpected meeting with Olympic hero Mo Farah at the Angel of the North earlier this month.

Nicholas Okerika and his wife Lorna were among the almost 56,000 people who took to the streets of Tyneside for the 33rd BUPA Great North Run.

Since Mrs Okerika had never been to Newcastle, they went up for the weekend and stopped off to do some sight seeing at the Angel of the North.

To their surprise, when they arrived Mo Farah and other elite athletes were filming a promotional video for the BBC.

When he was done filming, they grabbed the Olympic and world 500m and 10,000m champion and had a picture taken with him.

Mr Okerika said: “We were there to do some sight seeing and had no idea he would be there. It was some surprise but we were not going to miss the chance for a picture so we grabbed him.”

Farah narrowly missed out on becoming the first UK runner in 25 years to win the elite men’s race in a thrilling finish.

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Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele held him off to come first after the 13.1-mile half-marathon.

Mr and Mrs Okerika, inspired by the bravery of a friend’s 18-month-old son who lives with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), completed the course in two hours five minutes, raising £1,300 for Arthritis Research UK.

Mr Okerika said: “Every year myself and Lorna watch the Great North run and are inspired by the stories we hear and the fundraising that people do.

“We are not runners but this year we decided to dedicate the whole year to training and fundraising for Arthritis UK.

“Our friends have a little boy called Kai who was diagnosed with JIA at nine months old and he had to go through a series of X-rays, ultrasounds and blood tests to get the diagnosis.

“He takes pain killers twice a day, a tummy settler once a day to help his stomach cope, iron three times a day and vitamins.

“Once a week he has a methotrexate injection plus blood tests every four weeks.

“Arthritis does not only affect older people, it’s stealing the joy and fun that children should be having as they grow up.”

Arthritis affects one in six people in the UK, including about 15,000 children, and is the biggest cause of pain and disability in the UK.

Arthritis Research UK are leading the fight against the disease by funding research into prevention and cure, as well as supporting those affected by it.

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