In May Mark Draper will be running the Stroud Trail Ultra 40 marathon for Cancer Research UK. Pro Landscaper caught up with Mark to find out more about why he’s doing it and how he’s been training.
I’ve been running now for several years, I find it a great way to switch off and it also keeps me reasonably fit. After completing numerous 10K’s, half Marathons and 5 marathons, I thought I would give an ultra-marathon a go.
The training for the Ultra has been quite intense, five days a week, up to 60 miles in a week, with some very early starts. My legs have been feeling it!
Once I got the majority of the training out of the way and stayed injury free, I thought it was time to think about raising some money. I chose Cancer Research UK, as they have provided support for my sister
In 2014, after two years of undiagnosed hip pain, my sister Sarah was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma cancer. By the time she was diagnosed, the cancer had spread to bones throughout her body, including her spine and skull.
She underwent chemotherapy and was offered the opportunity to take part in a pioneering American drugs trial, part-funded by Cancer Research UK. As a result of the chemotherapy and the drugs trial, Sarah’s system was cleared of the cancer cells, paraproteins and lightchains. This meant she was well enough to undergo a gruelling stem cell transplant. Thankfully Sarah responded to treatment better than we could have hoped, she was able to regrow sections of her hip bone and is now able to walk unaided, after being told she would be in a wheelchair for the rest of her life. Without access to the chemotherapy and drugs trial, she would not have been well enough to undergo the transplant.
Sarah’s bravery throughout all this has been inspirational, she has faced everything with courage and a smile. When I heard that her trial had been part-funded by Cancer Research UK, the thought crossed my mind as to how many people had run races, or baked cakes or provided the sponsorship that had paid for Sarah’s treatment, and I vowed then that one day I would try to return the favour. This race is the start of that.
Please don’t feel obliged to sponsor me, but if you can spare even a couple of pounds, I know that there is a family out there somewhere who will be eternally grateful.
If you would like to sponsor Mark please click on the link here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mark-draper44