My name is Paul Antrobus. I am a British citizen who lives in Prague. I am 51 years old, and an accountant by training. Thanks for taking the time to read my story.
Twelve years ago my wife, who was 34, became terminally ill with cancer. She died after a six month courageous struggle. I made a promise to myself - and our two sons (then aged 7 and 2) - to do something to fight back. I made a plan to raise some money for charity by running two marathons in a single year. In early 2003 I registered for the events, started training, and then promptly caught a serious virus, which derailed my attempts.
Now, twelve years on, cancer has returned to haunt my family again. It seems to me the time has come to renew my own fight against this disease and to fulfil the promise I made. So, I've registered again for two marathons...as well as ten further gruelling events. There will be one per month between November 2014 and October 2015, and each one presents a different and daunting challenge for my office-softened physique.
The challenges are all set in the places we spent the most time together as a family: the UK, the Czech Republic and the hills and mountains of France and Switzerland.
These are The Antrobus 12 in 12 Challenges against Cancer, and with your support I hope to raise at least $250,000 towards the creation of a new ground-breaking international medical research centre, the Francis Crick Institute. This Institute will open in late 2015, employing over 1500 of Europe's leading medical research scientists, collaborating to create solutions to cancer and other life threatening diseases. For more information on this amazing project, follow this link: http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/sites/default/files/create_the_change_web_spreads.pdf
I hope to be supported by friends, colleagues and family on this series of challenges. I am not naturally an athlete, but I do enjoy a challenge... Some of them may, indeed, be too tough to complete as planned, especially in combination with each other. But that is exactly the point...and that's why I need your encouragement and support!
The challenges kick off with an international marathon through the hills and vineyards of Beaujolais, followed by an extreme UK offroad 10 mile race in December, then a gruelling 50km Czech ski race in January, followed by Europe's most famous high mountain ski tour, the Haute Route. A time challenge in the Prague half marathon follows in March, and the half way point in the year is reached while tackling the Virgin London Marathon.
The second six challenges start with a ski mountaineering climb of Monte Rosa (the second highest mountain in the Alps), followed by a 10 peak endurance and navigation run in the English Lake District, then the Eiger 50km July ultra marathon in Switzerland, follwed by an attempt on the Matterhorn in August, an ultra run in the 100km Thames Path Challenge in September and, to finish, a climb of Mont Blanc, the hardest way, when the lifts and huts are closed, in October 2015.
I promise to give everything to try to achieve all 12 challenges, however daunting they may seem. Please support me on this 12 month journey , either by sponsoring me (using this page) to attempt the whole series of '12 in 12' Challenges against Cancer, or alternatively go to the individual Challenge pages (by clicking the TEAM picture below or using the link www.justgiving.com/teams/antrobus12in12 ) and read more about each Challenge. Choose the one(s) that appeal most, and sponsor me (or sometimes the team) to complete the individual challenge.
Thank you for your support!