Great North Run 2021: Fantastic finish to a year of half marathons for Worthing runner

Worthing runner James Baydar had an amazing finish to his marathon challenge, completing the Great North Run as the finale to his 21 half marathons in 2021.

Thursday, 30th September 2021, 9:26 am
Updated Thursday, 30th September 2021, 3:17 pm

James was running for the Worthing & District branch of Cats Protection in memory of his beloved cat Nermal, who passed away in June 2019.

James said: “I completed my 21 Half Marathons in 2021 for Cats Protection challenge with the Great North Run. It was an amazing day and I’m still standing.

“During this challenge, I’ve run 443 kilometres in 50 hours, 16 minutes and 44 seconds, burning 38,700 calories in total, and I’ve raised almost £2,500 for the Worthing & District branch of Cats Protection. This challenge was also for the memory of my beloved cat Nermal.”

James Baydar celebrates completing the Great North Run, his 21st half marathon in 2021 for the Worthing and District branch of Cats Protection

James Baydar, 52, was due to do the Great North Run 2020 but when that did not happen, he came up with the idea of running 21 half marathons in 2021 instead.

James said: “In the beginning of this extraordinary year, I took up the extraordinary challenge of running 21 half marathons in 2021 for the memory of my beloved cat Nermal and to raise much-needed funds for the Worthing & District branch of Cats Protection, which was badly hit by the pandemic.

“As a local Worthing man and a cat lover, I’m humbled by the generosity of my supporters. To finish the challenge with Great North Run, the world’s biggest half marathon, will be a celebration to remember.

“For more than 90 years, Cats Protection has been working for a world where every cat is treated with kindness and an understanding of its needs. Cats Protection has rehomed over 1.5 million cats and kittens, and championed the rights of our feline friends.

James Baydar has been running in memory of his cat Nermal to raise money for the Worthing & District branch of Cats Protection

“Whilst remembering Nermal and the joy he brought us for 14 years, I couldn’t think of a charity to raise funds for more fitting than Cats Protection. This is for Nermal and the wonderful, dedicated team at the Worthing branch of the UK’s largest feline welfare charity.”

James, of Brighton Road, was able to put his energy into his charity runs as his alternative therapy practice was put on hold due to the pandemic.

James is well known at the Cats Protection charity shop in Rowlands Road, being a regular bargain hunter there, and the team is amazed by his dedication.