An IT/AV Technical Specialist from Harper Adams has taken on the Run the Month: Marathon Edition challenge to raise money for Prostate Cancer UK
Following the diagnosis of a close relative and a friend just before Christmas, Duncan Gunn-Russell, decided to start raising money for the charity.
He said: “It was a big shock. Even more shocking are the statistics that I then discovered: one in eight men will develop Prostate cancer - that’s 52,300 cases every year of 140 a day in the UK!
“However, 95% (aged 50-69) will survive five or more years with treatment. That’s why I'm raising money to help fund lifesaving research and support for men and their families affected by prostate cancer.”
Run the Month: Marathon Edition is a virtual challenge for runners of all abilities. The challenge – run 26.2 miles over the month of January to help beat prostate cancer – a disease affecting 1 in 8 men in the UK.
Duncan added: “I decided to get checked out and although I had no bad report back, it did throw up high blood pressure…time to get fit!”
Shortly after deciding to boost his exercise regime, Duncan found the challenge through Facebook and decided to give it a go.
He said: “I thought that it was a good reason to do something different and if I could raise a couple of hundred pounds whilst doing it, it should be ok.
“As an overweight middle-aged bloke, who hasn’t run since the early 1990s, I’m doing this with the aid of couch to 5k.”
Duncan documented his marathon journey through his JustGiving page, and started to spread the word to friends, family and colleagues for support and donations.
“I put the link on the staff weekly newsletter and social media, and it all changed…. Messages of support poured in, staff stopped me for chats and offer great advice. Routes were suggested and donations started appearing. I knew that Harper staff would be supportive but not quite to that degree.”
Though it was tough at times, Duncan kept in good spirits and by the end of January, he had completed a staggering 67 miles and raised £835!
“I decided that so as not to give up I would reduce the distance I was running at a time but increase the number of days and I was soon out there six nights a week running 2-3 miles in the dark and loving it.
“I’m so proud of the support for this challenge, especially as its financially tough out there at present.”
He even found a profound difference in himself, too, and added: “Even more importantly, my family started commenting, not just on the fact that it was getting me fit but was changing me mentally. Apparently, I had become introverted in the evening but now I was more relaxed and fun to be around.”
This appears to be just the beginning for Duncan’s fitness journey, as he has been tackling another challenge throughout February to raise money for Cancer Research UK.
“I have however caught the bug and the running goes on. This month I am supporting Cancer Research UK with a 56 miles in Feb challenge! Glutton for punishment…”
You can donate to Duncan’s Run 56 Miles Challenge for Cancer Research UK JustGiving page here