It was the loss of my father, Harold, to cancer in 1991 and my decision to quit smoking – that prompted me to start fundraising for Cancer Support Yorkshire. I have always been keen to help smaller local charities because you know that the money you raise is being used locally.
My training began at the local gym and through participating in the local Park Run around Lister Park, Bradford and this led to my first fundraising effort a half marathon, but in 2012 it was time for the big one – The famous Great North Run.
It was an absolutely awesome day – I definitely picked the right one. I remember standing on the A1 M at 9.20am with 50,000 people surrounding me, the atmosphere was electric and it opened my eyes to what is possible. Most of the people were running for one charity or another and it was amazing to see what is achievable through determination and commitment. It was on this day that I decided to seal my fundraising commitment to Cancer Support Yorkshire by pledging to run a marathon every year for the next 10 years.
Since that day I have run the Great North Run in 2013 where I managed to shave nearly 15 minutes off my previous time. In 2014 I ran the Manchester Marathon and in 2015 it was back to the Great North Run again. By 2016 I wanted to shake things up a little bit, so I decided to cycle the 105 mile journey up to Sunderland the day before the run and then return to Bradford by bike the day after completing it.
The support that I have received from my friends and family has been wonderful. To date I have raised over £4000 pounds for Cancer Support Yorkshire and I know that every penny will be spent helping people locally. Plans for 2017 are still up in the air but John O’Groats and Lands End have been mentioned so watch this space…