Express Nigel gears up for race challenge

Nigel Smalley, of Wheatley Hills, who is in training for the Great North Run, is watched by his partner Louisa Martin, George Cheshire, aged six, Harry Smalley, aged nine, Connor Martin, aged 14, Cameron Cheshire, aged 12, and Sam Smalley, aged 14.

Nigel Smalley, of Wheatley Hills, who is in training for the Great North Run, is watched by his partner Louisa Martin, George Cheshire, aged six, Harry Smalley, aged nine, Connor Martin, aged 14, Cameron Cheshire, aged 12, and Sam Smalley, aged 14.

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HE’S the Doncaster dad who’s faster than a train!

Charity runner Nigel Smalley showed his family it’s quicker by foot when he outpaced their public transport trip over 13 miles.

Now the 36 year-old former soldier, from Armthorpe, is planning to do it again when he takes on the Great North Run next month.

Last year, Nigel completed the course in one hour and 56 minutes.

His partner, Louisa Martin, and their children had been heading from the start to the finish line on public transport including train and bus, and arrived 10 minutes after he had crossed the line!

He said: “Last time I ran the course I managed to outrun my partner who took public transport to meet me at the finish. So I’m really hoping that this time my partner and all the kids can keep up and give me a rapturous reception at the end of my 13.5 miles.

“It was the 30th anniversary race last year, and I think perhaps the trains were pretty busy.”

Nigel is running the race for The National Autistic Society, having been last year diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism. Partner Louisa’s three children are also autistic.

Louisa’s boys, Cameron, Connor and George, and Nigel’s two children, Sam and Harry, are doing all they can to support him.

Nigel said his Aspergers was more a mental issue than a physical one.

He said that it gave him problems in dealing with unusual or unfamiliar surroundings.

He said: “It can sometimes lead to anxiety attacks , stress and can sometimes send me into depression. But it doesn’t stop me from being a good runner. Seeking my own diagnosis for Asperger syndrome last year was emotionally challenging at times.

“More than a year on, I am just thrilled to be running for the NAS.

“They provide such valuable support and services for people who are affected by autism, like me, Louisa and the kids.”

Nigel started running seriously during his time in the Army, having joined the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment as a teenager. He has kept up with his fitness regime and hopes to run his fastest time yet when he takes part in the run.

Nigel will be running with his colleague Sean Bartlett. The pair work for CCL, a private training provider delivering construction qualifications in the further education sector in Doncaster. Log onto http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/NigelSmalley to sponsor him.