Father completes run in daughter's place after her suicide

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Andy Airey taking part in the runImage source, Papyrus
Image caption,
Andy Airey said he was "carrying Sophie with me" during the run

A man who ran a half marathon in his daughter's memory following her suicide has raised £22,500 for charity.

Sophie Airey took her own life in December. She was 29.

Her father Andy, of Cumbria's Eden Valley, completed the Northumberland Half Marathon in her place in aid of the Papyrus suicide prevention organisation.

Saturday's 13-mile event got under way at Craster with the finish line at Bamburgh.

'Right thing to do'

Mr Airey said: "For a half marathon I never intended to do, I really enjoyed it.

"When Sophie took her own life and this opportunity, shall we say, fell to me to take her place it just seemed the right thing to do."

Image source, Family photo
Image caption,
Sophie Airey had planned to participate in the half marathon

He added: "The last couple of miles coming up the beach I did start to think about Sophie being with me.

"It should have been her [running] rather than me, which was hard. She would've been very proud.

"I'm carrying Sophie with me. I have done right from the moment we found out she'd gone."

Mr Airey said raising awareness of suicide prevention charities such as Papyrus had been an important focus.

"If we can get more people to look at what Papyrus do then we can save lives.

"There's no point bottling stuff up inside you because you're only going to go backwards."

Toni Ollier, a fundraising officer with the charity, praised his efforts.

She said: "To go through what his family have gone through, losing Sophie in tragic circumstances, what's he's done is inspirational.

"Andy has done an amazing thing in honour of Sophie. It's fantastic."

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