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Neil Cook avatar
Neil Cook

Neil Cook's Comrades ULTRA Marathon page

I am running the Comrades Ultra Marathon for UCLH Charity because in memory of the mighty Mr Dominic Sutton

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UCLH Charity

We help University College London Hospitals to to support patients, staff and research

Charity Registration No. 1165398

Story

Late last year one of my best friends, the mighty Dominic Sutton, lost his 7 year battle with cancer. Dom & I met at university and had known each other for 18 years. From the moment he was diagnosed with cancer the first time, through each bout of treatment, and subsequent relapse, he was always so strong and positive that you always thought he would beat it, and never once considered that he wouldn't. It was only in the last few months when I finally started to realise that shit, maybe he wont make it this time. 

The last time I saw Dom was 2 weeks before he died, he knew it was probably the last time we would see him and although we were all upset he still managed to make us all laugh, and when we left the hospital he made sure he hauled himself out of bed and followed us downstairs to say goodbye. He fought 'til the end.

In the days after someone you know so well dies so young, you do a lot of thinking. Dom had told us the things he hoped to do before he died, simple things such as getting a curry, and going to the pub one last time, and it makes you think about things you have said you would like to do but have never gotten round to.

Having run a number of marathons, for a few years I had been keen on running an ultra marathon. The one that interested me most is the largest (18000 people) and most historical (it was first run in 1921) and is called the Comrades Marathon (http://comrades.com). It takes place in South Africa and the route covers 56 miles, yes fifty six, between Pietermartzburg and Durban. Just to make it clear that is equivalent of 2 marathons back-to-back, plus another 3.5 miles.

So a couple of days after Dom passed away I signed up and decided to run it in his memory!

In preparation I have regularly running between 70 & 80 miles a week, including up to 45 at the weekend, and if all goes to plan I hope to complete the race in under 7.5 hours, which is about 8 miles per hour. But failing that just finishing it within the 12 hour time limit will be an amazing achievement.

So that is my story, and on June 1st at 5:30am I will be standing on the start line and summoning up the power of the Dominator for the challenge that lies ahead.

All donations will go directly to the charity of Doms choice which funds research into cancer at UCLH.

Thank you x


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