For more than a decade I’ve lived with Cancer. Over 12 years, through 4 diagnoses and four remissions it has been the one constant in my life, it has taken my brain and my body into the darkest places but thanks to medicine, friends, loved ones, a lot of faith, a sense of humour and an indomitable will I find myself here.
I am truly grateful and blessed to be alive today and to be as physically able as I am. The body and the mind are amazing things so to celebrate them both I am going to take on 5 challenges in 2017 to ‘Kick at the Darkness’; to hopefully inspire a little, to raise money for a wonderful charity and to show that ordinary people can do extra ordinary things.
What makes this year even more special is that along the way some amazing people are joining me, each one has their own relationship with Cancer in some way but all are linked by the common denominators of wanting to make a difference and knowing that “If you want to travel fast travel alone but if you want to travel far travel together”
First up is The Longhorn Marathon on 23rd April, this off road 26.2mile marathon is in Sherwood Forest and is a lovely way to start the year. Joining me for the longest run he’s even done is the amazing Michael McCarthy, a man who doesn’t know the meaning of the word can’t.
Second on the list is the Dragon Ride L’etape Wales on the 11th June. I’m doing the Grand Fondo, this is a 143mile bike ride in through and around South Wales and if the run in April doesn’t kill him then Michael may well be joining me for that one too.
Third for the year is the Race to the King on the 24th June, this is a one-day 53mile Ultra marathon along the South Downs finishing at Winchester Cathedral. Keeping me company on this one is a man that inspires me to be better, John Matthews, a formidable triathlete and good friend who despite having only one lung sets the most relentless pace in life, business and sport.
Fourth and a change of pace is the Thames marathon swim on the 6th August. This is a cheeky little 14km swim between Henley and Marlow. Swimming is pretty much a solo activity so this one is just me.
Finally (and everything this year has been building to this) The Golden to Sunshine ride, this is a 3070 mile cross America bike ride. From San Diego to Florida in 24 days, this is a trip of a lifetime, averaging 128 miles a day every day self supported. Joining me for this adventure is the incomparable Ollie Denton who has already paddle boarded the length of the Thames and kept me safe whilst I swam the length of Lake Windermere. So this should be a breeze for him, even with a reconstructed knee.
I’m doing this because I can, I’m doing this to give back and I’m doing this to raise a lot of money for a charity I care about. UCARE is an Oxford based charity that was founded by the oncologist that has treated me all this time. The charity specialises in education and research into Urological cancers (Kidney, Bladder, Prostate and Testicular) It’s a small charity that doesn’t spend thousands on non-essentials and I know that the £36,500 I want to raise will make a massive difference to the work they do.
If you can relate to my story or it inspires you in any way then I’m pleased I was able to help a little. If you’d like to make a donation then thank you and if you could or would share this story with your friends, followers then I would be eternally grateful.
If you would like to talk to me about anything then feel free to reach out, I’m happy to help and of course if you’re a business that would like to make a donation or sponsor part or some of this year in exchange for me talking to your teams or something else then I can do that too.