Running for Zachary Sanderson

Raising money in loving memory of Zachary Sanderson who passed away aged 6 weeks in July 2015.

Zachary Sanderson Zachary Sanderson

We first met Zachary’s parents Andy and Caroline when they popped in to the Tiny Lives office one Friday afternoon in late 2015. They wanted to raise funds for Tiny Lives and leave a lasting legacy in Zachary’s name while helping other babies and families who experience the journey of the special care baby unit.

Andy mentioned he wanted to do 12 half marathons in 2016 which we thought, even for a runner, was tough going when working full time and have personal commitments too. So, when Andy said he wasn’t really a runner and had never run a half marathon before we knew then, that Andy and Caroline were determined to do what they could, not only to leave a lasting legacy for Zachary, but also to raise as much funds as they could for Tiny Lives.

So, not only completing all 12 half marathons along with other sporting activities with his work colleagues from Egger, Andy and Caroline also organised a fundraising evening to mark what would have been Zachary’s 1st Birthday, Yoga Lilly orgainsed a “yoga in the park for Zachary” and Andy’s work colleague grew a beard then shaved it off.

With help from family, friends, work colleagues and Egger, who have made company donations and supported Andy through all his runs, and also strangers donating on Zachary’s page, they raised £13,999.77 in 2016.


Andy and Caroline have continued their epic fundraising, keeping Zachary’s memory alive. In the last few months, Andy has completed two epic challenges.

In March, Andy undertook the Northumberland Ultra Marathon which involved running 36.1 Miles along the iconic North East Coast. Andy said ‘When I started fundraising back in 2015 in memory of our son Zachary, the goal was to try and run 1000km within a year (way more than I’d ever run before) and raise £1000. 7 years later I can’t believe we’ve raised over £47,000, I’ve run 650km already this year and last week, I completed my first Ultra Marathon (57km)!’

In June, Andy undertook another incredible challenge, this time taking part in a 70 Mile Rat Race Challenge – The Wall. Andy and Caroline were featured in the Newcastle Chronicle where they spoke about lovely Zachary and how they are keeping his legacy going. You can read the full article here. The couple said ‘”We are determined that Zachary’s life has a long lasting legacy and am trying to achieve this by helping to raise money and awareness for charities associated with his conditions and his life.” The current total raised in Zachary’s memory stands at an incredible £51,047.55!



Caroline’s Zwift Challenge – 31st May 2021

3 days, one Epic tour. 34,000ft – 600km, including a 45 minute final climb up the Alpe! All for one very special little boy!

“Watching riders from all over world come together this weekend in memory of Zachary has really touched my heart. I can’t thank you all enough. We’ve raised over £3,000 for Zachary’s 6th birthday. This wouldn’t be possible without the support of the zwift community, The amazing people I’ve met this past year, our friends and family This was a lot harder than I thought it would be, I’ll be icing my legs all week. Massive thank you to everyone who has messaged, donated for Zachary’s birthday, the support has been incredible.”  Thanks everyone!


Northumberland Trail Marathon, 2019

Andy is running 4 marathons in 2019 in order to raise money for Tiny Lives, in loving memory of Zachary. He recently completed the first, the Northumberland Trail Marathon, and will soon be completing the Manchester Marathon.

Andy on Park Run with Harry (2019)

Andy and Harry training at the South Shields Park Run


In 2017, we think Andy caught the running bug as he entered 2 full marathons – the Liverpool and Amsterdam Marathon – a massive well done.

Andy’s work colleagues have also continued their support to Andy, Caroline and Tiny Lives by completing the Runstock in Northamptonshire on 10th June 2017.

all together 1 all together 2 group photo 2 group photo photo 1

“Absolutely incredible effort by Team Egger at Runstock today, we pledged to run 400km collectively and we ended up running 610km!!!!!

It means so much to me and we have made Zachary so proud

  • Amsterdam Marathon – 15 October 2017

Another massive well done to Andy who completed his second marathon this month all in loving memory of his son Zachary, looking at the photos below you would never have though Andy had the flu, staying strong and fighting just like Zachary did when he was born.

You can also see Zachary’s little sister Arabella wishing him luck and you can see from her big smiles how proud she is of her daddy.

In Andy’s words…

Ran the Amsterdam Marathon today in memory of our son Zachary and to raise much needed funds for Tiny Lives, a charity that supports premature and sick newborn babies and their families in the Special Care Baby Unit at the RVI in Newcastle.

I’ve had the flu most of this week, so was really nervous about the run and definitely struggled in the hot and sunny conditions!

Feeling relieved, proud and emotional to have completed a 3rd year of fundraising as we look to create a long lasting legacy for Zach’s short life, we miss you so much son and never stop thinking about you ?

It wouldn’t be possible without my amazing fiancée, Caroline, I love you so much, thanks for putting up with those long training runs at 5am and my dodgy immune system!

2015 – 1000km in a year
2016 – A half marathon a month
2017 – 2 marathons
2018 – Dont even want to think about it at the moment!

Amsterdam Marathon 1 Amsterdam Marathon 2

Good Luck from Arabella 1 Good Luck from Arabella 2

Good Luck from Arabella 3

  • Liverpool Marathon
good luck poster for uncle Andy

Good Luck poster for uncle Andy

Liverpool Marathon - before

All smiles before the run

Liverpool Marathon - before - family shot

More big smiles before the run with Zachary’s little sister Arabella

Liverpool Marathon - after

Still smiling afterwards

“First marathon completed in 3 hours 54 minutes despite the hot and humid conditions!

I’ve been overwhelmed by the incredible messages of support on what has been such an emotional, tearful day.  Caroline you are an inspiring, incredible woman, thank you so much for putting up with me doing all those long training runs on a Saturday morning!

Tomorrow is Zachary’s 2nd birthday, which is why I’ll be putting myself through all this pain again and running a 2nd marathon in Amsterdam this October.

We are determined to create a long lasting legacy for Zach’s life by raising funds and awareness for Tiny Lives, they are an incredible local charity helping special care babies and their families”

Everyone at Tiny Lives really can’t say thank you enough to Andy, Caroline, all their family, friends and the very kind people who don’t know them but have donated on Zachary’s page.


You can see below all half marathons which Andy took part in, in 2016.

Below –  Andy’s 1/12 of the way there after completing the Brass Monkey half marathon … only 11 more to go.

Andy after the Brass Monkey half marathon, Jan

Below – Andy completes the CTS Northumberland Half Marathon,

“running along beaches, through the rock pools and over the sand dunes from Craster to Bamburgh. Definitely the toughest race I’ve done so far…”

Andy 1

Below – Andy completes the North London Half Marathon, finishing inside Wembley Stadium!

Had no idea London could be so hilly!”

Andy 2

Below:- “Northumberland Half Marathon 4th this year, Zach must have been looking down on us, as the sun burst through the clouds, just as I reached the 12 mile mark, making all those tough hills worthwhile”

Andy 3

Below – Completed the Tynedale Half Marathon, Andy’s 5th one in 2016 and in his words…

“definitely the hilliest so far, with 3 brutal, energy sapping climbs!”


Below – Hadrian’s Wall Half Marathon completed and Andy has reached the halfway point of his challenge – six half marathons completed this year, six more to go!

“It was every bit as hilly, muddy, rocky and boggy as I thought it would be”

Andy June 2016

Below –  Completed the Hexham Half Marathon this morning, 7 down, 5 to go!

“Great to start and finish the race next to Egger, an amazing company, who have supported Caroline and I so much this past year”


Below – Northumberland Coast Half Marathon completed, 8th one this year, all in memory of Zachary and to raise money for Tiny Lives

“This was the toughest one yet. Really struggled with dehydration and dizziness from 8 miles onwards with the hot, humid conditions. Thinking of Zach kept me going though. Every single painful, exhausting stride was for him and for Caroline. I love you both so much”


Below –  Scottish Half Marathon completed, 9th one only 3 more to go…

“Spurred on by a runner in front of me who looked exactly like Caroline from the back, same hair style, same running technique, same under armour clothing (at least I hope it wasn’t her!!!), I finished with a time of 1:45:45, my 2nd fastest Half Marathon, just missing out on a PB by 45 seconds”


Below – Manchester Half Marathon – 10th one only 2 more to go…

Up at 4:30am this morning after last night’s Tiny Lives Charity Ball to drive down for the Manchester Half Marathon…. ?

This was my 10th Half Marathon this year as I look to run one every month in memory of Zachary and to help raise money and awareness for Tiny Lives.

Not for the first time this year, there was really heavy rain throughout the race, right up until the finishing straight, when the sun burst through the clouds. You can’t tell me Zach didn’t have something to do with that!!! ?


Below –

“Completed the Goathland Half Marathon this morning in the North Yorkshire Moors, my 11th one so far this year, as I look to run one every single month in memory of our son Zachary and to raise money for Tiny Lives ?

This was the toughest one yet, taking me 2 hours 43 minutes to complete… It was muddy, foggy, wet, windy, slippy and very hilly!”


Below – Andy’s last half marathon of 2016…

“What an incredible morning!!! Completed this year’s challenge to run a Half Marathon every month in memory of Zachary and did so in such a special way, by organising our own event and running with Team Saltwell Harriers and Team Egger!

Thank you to all 16 of you who ran with me, many of whom had never ran so far before! Also thank you to everyone who came along to cheer us on and support us at the finish line!

We have raised almost £12,000 this year for Tiny Lives.  Caroline and I would like to thank everyone for donating and taking part in our fundraising activities this year, you are all so kind and generous! Tiny Lives are a fantastic charity who make such a difference to so many families. I’m sure Zachary will be proud ??

Andy and team Dec run 2016 Andy and team Dec run 2016 3

Andy and team Dec run 2016 2

We would also like to say thank you to everyone who took part in the Gung-Ho event in loving memory of Zachary…

gung-ho-pic-1 gung-ho-pic-2

Best of luck Andy, we’re all behind you.



He was so perfect, so gorgeous and brought us so much happiness in the six weeks we spent with him last year. He was strong, brave and courageous.

– Andy Sanderson, talking about Zachary.