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My marathon story – Paul McManus

My Dad was a big, strong guy. A tough and resilient guy. But that all changed when he got cancer.

Knowing and watching what he went through when he was fighting this devastating disease, it became unimaginable to me that children also have to go through the same pain and anguish.

Cancer completely destroyed my Dad mentally and physically. To see a child, suffer in the same way was completely incomprehensible, so I have decided: “if I could run a few miles to help ease a child’s suffering then let’s do it.”

Which is why I will be running the London Marathon in April to raise money for Children with Cancer UK.

It’s an amazing charity that supports and invests in vital research into childhood cancer. It started in February 1987 after leukaemia claimed the life of 14-year-old Paul O’Gorman. Within weeks of his death, Paul’s parents Eddie and Marion, started fundraising. But just nine months later, another devastating blow struck the family when Paul’s sister, Jean, was also killed by cancer.

Imagine that, losing both your children in that way, so quickly. It is just awful. But Eddie and Marion’s drive, resilience and grace has meant more than £220million has been raised to help the fight against childhood cancer.

I hope that my small contribution will play a role in this charity’s tireless and inspirational work.

I’ve always wanted to run the London Marathon – it’s been one of my life-long ambitions. The crowds on race day will be awesome and seeing the sites will be brilliant – I hope they keep me going.

The training 

I don’t really have a training approach – just to run, which I hope won’t be my downfall. I’m just going to build up the miles. Admittedly, I am not good at following training plans and I found the last time I trained for a marathon (I ran the Southampton Marathon in 2017), I had good days and bad days. On the goods days I ran little a further then I needed too, and on the bad days I would just call it a day and go home.

We will see how the next few months of preparation go but I am looking forward to the event and to raising some vital funds for a very worthy cause. I hope people can get behind me and support this great charity.

To sponsor Paul, visit