Whitehead man runs past ‘in a flash’ to raise charity funds

Whitehead people could have been excused for looking twice as TV character The Flash ran through the town recently!

Monday, 8th March 2021, 12:49 pm

In fact he went around twice so it could have been a case of double take…

The DC Comics and television series costumed crime scene investigator was not taking a break in the seaside town, or trying to save the world, however.

Instead the figure was local man Graham Ross, who does, it has to be said, bear a passing resemblance to the Flash actor Grant Gustin, and who was carrying out a virtual red dress run for charity.

Graham Ross as Flash.

Graham takes part in the annual run and was doing so to raise funds and awareness for Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke.

Also one of the charity’s Community Ambassadors, he started doing the Red Dress Run in memory of his dad, who passed away in 2016 due to a massive stroke.

“With every step I take, I get to raise money and remember him. I think he’d be proud of the steps I’m taking to keep my family and me healthy,” Graham explained.

“I also run for my little daughter, Eva. Being fit and healthy for my family means everything to me and I hope I can inspire other local families to get out and take positive steps to keep well mentally and physically, especially during the pandemic.

Graham Ross on the move in his charity run.

“By supporting NI Chest Heart and Stroke, step by step, we can work together to keep local hearts healthy and help rebuild healthy lives for people with chest, heart and stroke conditions and remember the loved ones we’ve lost to them, like my dad.”

The Whitehead man, who is well known as a firefighter in the town, had a modest target of raising £100 through the effort, but to date has raised over £830 from donations and gift aid for his effort.

Thanking all those who had made donations, Graham said: “After losing my dad to a stroke, I wanted to not just rise funds but also to raise awareness about healthy living. If me dressing up like an eejit and doing silly things helps people with living a healthy long life then it’s worth it!”

Tribute was paid on the Whitehead Today site by artist Steve Diamond, who encouraged locals to cheer from their gardens as the Flash went past and to make online donations to the charity.

Graham now is looking ahead to September, when he intends to run the Belfast Marathon as The Flash. And as a warm up he is planning to run the Belfast virtual half marathon on the May Day weekend. “I’ll be dressing up to run to Carrick – as far as Lidl’s and back – as training for the full marathon distance,” he said.

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Click here to read: Carrick footballer’s seafront endurance challenge in memory of granda

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