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We would run to the ends of the earth if that would bring Maddie back to our pal Gerry. .

HOMEPAGE RED T-SHIRT NEWS REPORTS INDEX FRIENDS NEWS JUNE 2007
Original Source: EVENING TIMES: TUESDAY 05 JUNE 2007
Exclusive by Jonathan Rennie
 

Dr Paul McIntyre, above, and friends are running the 10K this Sunday for Gerry McCann, pictured below with his son Sean

Alistair Douglas, left, and Gerry McCann after a 1991 race

DR ALISTAIR DOUGLAS: Gerry was one of the first of us to become a dad, and I remember how happy he was when Madeleine (below) was born. Now he's living everyone's worst nightmare
THE best friends of the dad of missing tot Madeleine McCann say they would run to the ends of the earth if they could bring her back.

In a show of support for Gerry McCann and his family, Paul McIntyre, Alastair Curry and Alistair Douglas are all taking part in the 10K for Men at Bellahouston Park on Father's Day next weekend in Glasgow.

The trio, who have known Gerry since he was a teenage student at Glasgow University, want to make sure he knows all his friends back home are thinking of him.

They want Gerry to know if there is anything that can do to find Madeleine, they will.

Paul, 44, who is one of Scotland's top cardiologists, said: "It has been a tough time for Gerry and his family. Gerry's father died last year and now this. I can't begin to imagine how difficult it is for him.

"I know he was struggling at first, but when I spoke to him on the phone recently he told me how speaking to counsellors had helped and it gave him the focus to cope and to find strategies in dealing with this.

"I'm not surprised by the positive approach he is taking - he has always been proactive and keen to do what he can.

"That's why we decided to do this.

"Gerry was a keen runner and we've all entered races together in the past. We decided this would be a fitting tribute."

He added: "If we could bring Madeleine back and end all of this for them then, of course, we wouldn't just be running a 10K in Glasgow, we would run to the ends of the earth."

Paul, based at Paisley's Royal Alexandra Hospital, first met Gerry at a local running group.

Gerry was 16 and Paul was studying medicine at Glasgow University.

 

THERE is still time to enter this year's 10K for Men.The event, organised by the Men's Health Forum Scotland, takes place at Bellahouston Park on Father's Day, June 17, in Glasgow.

 

The Evening Times is media partner for the event and more than 1500 men have signed up for the run - and you could be one of them.

The deadline has been extended for entries so there is still time to register.

And don't be put off if you think you are too late to train - this isn't an event where crossing the line first means everything.

People of all ages and varying degrees of fitness are taking part - and that is the key to it - getting involved.

You could take part with a friend, on your own, for fun, or even for a charity.

Whether you exercise every day or haven't taken your trainers out of the cupboard for months, it doesn't matter - people of differing abilities will be taking part, and there will be plenty of people along the route cheering your every step.

This is Glasgow and the West of Scotland's biggest men's events and it is sure to be a fun day out.

Everyone who completes the 10K will receive a medal, T-shirt and goodie bag.

The only condition is that you are at least 15 years of age on race day.

Entry deadline is June 13. To register or to find out more call 0141 550 7515 or visit www.mhfs.org.uk

Paul encouraged the south side teenager to pursue a career in medicine. 

Over the years, their working relationship and their friendship developed.

Paul was at Gerry and Kate's wedding and just six months ago he was trying to convince Gerry, who is also a hospital doctor to head back north and take up a post at the city's Western Infirmary.

He said: "The family was thinking about it, but had just bought a new house down south."

Paul's youngest children are the same age as the McCann's youngest kids.

And this thought makes the situation all the more harrowing.

Paul said: "There are challenges with parenthood but this is something no parent should ever have to deal with. It is dreadful, absolutely dreadful."

His other friends, Alastair Douglas, is a GP in Possilpark, while Alastair Curry is the head of running group JogScotland and have been involved with the campaign by Gerry's brother-in-law John to raise awareness about Madeleine's disappearance.

Alastair Douglas, 46, has an 11-month-old of his own.

He remembers when he first heard about Gerry becoming a father, he was one of the first of the group of pals to become a dad.

Alastair said: "I think every parent asks the question, What if it was me?', What would I do?', How would I be feeling?'. Gerry was one of the first of us to become a dad and I remember how happy he was when Madeleine was born.

"Now Gerry is living everyone's worst nightmare."

It has been four weeks since Madeleine McCann disappeared from a holiday complex in Portugal.

Despite countless appeals and a worldwide publicity campaign. which has even included a meeting between the Pope and Gerry and Kate McCann, there has been no sign of the four-year-old.

Last month, thousands of people wore yellow ribbons at the Women's 10k run in Glasgow to show support for the family.

Around 12,000 people took part in the race and runners and spectators wore T-shirts and carried placards with a photograph of Madeleine and a plea to contact police with information.

Madeleine's aunt Diane McCann, also took part in the race with a group of friends.

Gerry's friends hope there is a similar show of support for Gerry at the 10K for Men and are encouraging participants at this year's event to wear yellow ribbons.

Paul said: "You have to keep hoping we might not have to run this race for Gerry at all by the time Father's Day comes. Hopefully, Madeleine will be back with the family by then.

"We're not looking for people to give money to the Madeleine appeal - we wouldn't want people to divert their donations from causes that other people are raising money for.

"But we would love it if people wore a yellow ribbon so that when Gerry turns on the television or sees photographs from the day then he knows his friends, and the people of his home city, are thinking of him."

Publication date 05/06/07

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