Neil, left, competed in the London Marathon in 2005 but has not raced since.
He also took part in the Great North Run in 1994 when he was editor of Newcastle’s Evening Chronicle, and again two years later.
Now he is back in training at the age of 58 to take part in the half-marathon alongside his 20-year-old Joe, a student at University College London.
Said Neil: “I’ve been running for 35 years but this is my first race since the London Marathon in 2005.
“I’ve done the GNR twice before – the last time was in 1996. We’re aiming to complete the course just inside two hours, provided I stay injury-free and there’s a following wind.
“In the past I’ve run for children’s charities and, at the age of 58, I thought it was about time I raised some money to benefit older people.
Neil said his “personal worst” time for a half marathon is 1 hour 55 minutes, set at the Great North Run the last time he ran it in 1996, but he says this “could well come under threat” in this year’s race.
He added: “For what it’s worth, my personal best is 1 hour 23 minutes, set way, way back in 1989. My only chance of beating that is if I drive.”
The 13-mile race, sponsored by BUPA, takes place in Newcastle and Gateshead on Sunday 15 September. To sponsor Neil, visit his Just Giving page.