A BARNSTAPLE man is preparing to run alongside Mel C in the Great North Run after winning one of 10 places in the former Spice Girl’s team.
Lee Chapple, 27, will join Sporty Spice and nine fellow runners on the starting line for next month’s race in Newcastle.
The group is competing against a team led by Olympic sprinter Iwan Thomas at the Great South Run – in a bid to raise the most money.
Having previously secured a place on the half marathon, the engineer won a spot on the team after entering a competition through fundraising group Virgin Just Giving.
Following a team training session in Newcastle last week, Lee said he was excited to be a part of the team.
He said: “Mel was really nice to be honest. She was just a totally normal person and was there just chatting to everyone.
“The whole thing of just being there and running next to her is still kind of surreal though.
“But it’s not just the thing with Mel, it’s nice to be in contact with other people doing what I’m going. We can just help and support each other through it.
“The guy I’m running with, it’s his 34th time doing the Great North Run, so if I ever have any issues I can just ask him.”
Competing in his first half marathon, Lee made the decision to run the race following the tragic death of three of his grandparents within a 10 month period.
He said: “What me and my family have been through in the past 12 months has spurred me on and kind of keeps me going.”
Lee hopes to raise more than £500 for Cancer Research UK, after having already broken his initial target of £300.
To donate please visit www.justgiving.com/leechapple or text leec86 £1 to 70070.