Children’s charity runner for the Great North Run becomes Her Majesty’s bodyguard | Action Medical Research

Children’s charity runner for the Great North Run becomes Her Majesty’s bodyguard

7 June 2012

A lecturer from York St John’s University, who has participated in the Great North Run for children’s charity Action Medical Research for over 15 years, has become the Queen’s bodyguard of the Yeoman of the Guard.

Mark Sullivan, 54, first ran the Great North Run for the charity in 1996 and has since, on many occasions, run as Paddington Bear – Action Medical Research’s mascot.A qualified coach, he also helps out with training the members of the charity’s York committee, in his free time.

The York committee was set up over 18 years ago and now has about 250 members, most of whom have run and raised money for Action Medical Research. The members meet twice a week for several months of the year to train for the Great North Run.

Mark, who is doing the Great North Run on Sunday 16 September as Paddington Bear for his favourite charity, says: “I was delighted when I got a chance to offer my services to Her Majesty the Queen. Running has always been a cherished hobby and I am really looking forward to running yet again as Paddington Bear in support of a charity as worthy as Action Medical Research.”

Though historically created by Henry VII in the 15th century to protect the monarch, the Yeoman of the Guard today have a purely ceremonial role to accompany the Sovereign at Garden Parties at the Buckingham Palace and the annual Royal Maundy Service during Easter to name a few.

A running enthusiast and a keen supporter of the charity, Mark has also run the London Marathon and the New York Marathon as Paddington Bear for Action Medical Research.

Action Medical Research funds vital work into conditions affecting babies and children and is celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2012. Research currently being supported includes work around meningitis, epilepsy, cerebral palsy and premature birth, as well as some very rare and distressing conditions that severely affect children.

Anyone interested in joining Mark at the Great North Run for Action Medical Research on 16 September, can find out more at

Anyone interested in joining the A-Team or running for Action, please email

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Hi-res images can be downloaded using the links below:

Mark dressed as Yeoman of the Guard

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Prarthana Rao, Interim Senior Press and PR Officer
T 01403 327480

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Action Medical Research - the leading UK-wide medical research charity dedicated to helping babies and children - is celebrating 60 years of vital research in 2012. We’ve been funding medical breakthroughs since we began in 1952 and have spent more than £100 million on research that has helped save thousands of children’s lives and changed many more. Today, we continue to find and fund the very best medical research to help stop the suffering of babies and children caused by disease and disability. We want to make a difference in:

• tackling premature birth and treating sick and vulnerable babies
• helping children affected by disability, disabling conditions and infections
• targeting rare diseases that together severely affect many forgotten children.

But there is still so much more to do. Make 2012 a special year and help fund more life-changing research for some of the UK’s sickest babies and children.

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