6 months ago
10 August, 2023
23-year-old George lives in Bristol and will run 100km every month until December 31st this year (2023)—a whopping 600km and equivalent to 14 marathons. The cost consultant, who only took up running properly after Covid, began his mammoth challenge in June. He has already clocked up his first 100km.
His nan, Angela, sadly died from breast cancer three years ago after battling the disease for several years. And his auntie Jayne was diagnosed with the disease last year and is still receiving treatment.
Due to breast cancer’s impact on his family, George wanted to fundraise for a charity that educates the public on prevention steps to reduce your risk of getting the disease. He hopes his challenge will raise awareness so other families don’t have to go through what his has endured.
Originally from Cheshire, George said: “My grandma had breast cancer twice before and got through it, but it came back. I was at university at the time, and it was really difficult. I didn’t know whether to be at home with my family. Towards the end, it was like it wasn’t really my grandma anymore. It was a really tough time for all of us.
“Then, about six months after my grandma died, my auntie was also diagnosed with breast cancer. She had chemotherapy for six months and then had a lumpectomy. Still, since then, she’s been in and out of the hospital as the consultants aren’t happy with certain lumps that have appeared. It’s probably been happening for about two years and prompted me to do this challenge.”
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK. Over 55,000 women and 390 men a year are diagnosed with the disease. Yet a third of these cases can be prevented. Breast Cancer UK is working to prevent breast cancer through education, scientific research, and policy change.
“I know breast cancer can be genetic, but if there are things people can do to avoid situations like ours, then I think that’s an amazing thing and a great cause to support,” George added.
He recently returned from a trip to Thailand. Still, the hot and humid weather didn’t stop him from powering on and pounding the streets to maintain his monthly 100km target. While his friends were napping, George nipped out for a mere eight-mile run!
He said: “This is my biggest ever physical challenge, but I’m determined to complete it and raise as much as I possibly can for such a worthy cause so close to home.
“Whether I’m on holiday, it’s my birthday, or whatever, I will make sure I do it as I have this personal reason to drive me. That’s the point of a challenge, right?”
As part of the challenge, he’ll complete London’s Richmond Marathon in September, the Bath Half Marathon in October and the Cardiff Half Marathon MoRun in November, raising awareness for men’s mental health. He’s even got his non-runner mum Joanne training for a couch to 5k. And his brother Charles recently completed a Half Ironman event, raising funds for Breast Cancer UK.
To spice up the challenge, anyone who donates more than £20 can request a ‘side quest’ for George to complete. Such as running 5km in his underwear or doing a run-in fancy dress. So far, he’s dressed as a banana and while on holiday with family. His brother challenged him to run up Monte Giove in Northern Italy – equivalent to running up Snowden.
The banana challenge, set by a friend and work colleague, took George beyond the first 100km he needed to complete in June.
George, a keen squash player, said: “By chance, I happened to have a three-piece banana outfit! The shorts were a little tight, but judging by the laughs, and occasional car horns, I hope I brought a smile to a few faces.”
To ensure he clocks up the equivalent of just under two-and-a-half marathons each month, George runs several times a week. Fitting in his longer runs at the weekend when he’s not working. He loves the social aspect of running. So he heads out with friends but encourages anyone who donates to join him.
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