I know that I love running and I love fundraising for Cancer Research in memory of my amazing brother Simon, who died way back in 1999. As the years go by, none of our family miss him any less. He is remembered every single day whether I run marathons or not.
But last year, I became aware of a gobsmackingly amazing woman who, at the age of 23, was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour and, in spite of this staggering blow, has campaigned tirelessly to raise awareness and funds for this awful illness. Even though it's the biggest killer of people aged under 40, it receives only 1% of government funding and this is why I feel the need to do everything I can to raise as much as I can for this worthy charity.
(If you don't read on from here, please scroll down to the photos and take a look at the video that I've linked to. It pulls no punches and explains exactly why I've decided to do what I'm doing). And if you can't view the video (it doesn't seem to be working on ipads), you can copy and paste the following into a browser address line.....
Anyway, the woman in question who has grabbed me quite so much is Anna Swabey and, although we still haven't met, she has inspired me to push myself as hard as I can to raise funds for her cause and help her and others in her position.
So the challenge is....probably ridiculous....but hopefully attainable...although, right now, I really don't know.
Anna was hoping to run the Paris Marathon with a load of her friends and family this year...and asked if I'd like to take part which, of course I said I would. But, although a marathon is never easy, I know I can probably get round one and, inspired by Anna's determination, I started to think how I could increase this challenge. Bear in mind that I'm a bit of an old bird and although I love running, I'm no Paula Radcliffe. I have to work hard to run the distances I do, so the decision to run Paris Marathon then run the Rotterdam Marathon the following Sunday seemed foolish enough...without cycling 277 miles between the two. But that's the challenge I decided upon....without really knowing if I can actually do it.
And I won't be alone. There are 16 of Anna's friends and family (and me and Chris) running Paris. My brother will be cycling with me to Rotterdam (with Chris providing car support) and I know two other friends who are running Rotterdam.
So if you would like to contribute to the cause, your donation would be enormously appreciated.
Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving – they’ll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they’ll send your money directly to the charity. So it’s the most efficient way to donate – saving time and cutting costs for the charity.