David Low and Steven Allan are running the equivalent of TEN marathons over thirty days to raise funds for Brain Tumour Research.
Inspired to take up running by a close mutual friend who recently died from a brain tumour, the pair are taking on the multi-marathon challenge together.
David Low lives in Langley Park, Durham, and is a solicitor specialising in litigation. Steven Allan lives near Ellon in Aberdeenshire and is also a solicitor, based in Aberdeen. They met at school at Robert Gordon’s College in Aberdeen, and now live 263 miles apart.
David said: “I took up running for the first time at the start of last year in order to raise funds for Brain Tumour Research, but was aware that the charity is suffering because of the pandemic, especially with many challenge events like the London Marathon being postponed or cancelled. Steve has also been fundraising for the charity, and we were both looking for a new challenge. We had seen that Brain Tumour Research were looking for people to take on the 2.6 Challenge and realised that we live 260 miles apart, or 263 miles to be exact. That distance seemed too much of a coincidence and, somehow, Steve talked me into agreeing to take on the challenge of a 10 marathon relay with him. My only condition was that we had to start the next day before I found an excuse to pull out!
“Since we started our month of running on 26 April, I’m pretty sure in the last three weeks I have already run further than I ever have throughout my entire life!
“I have two young children and I definitely couldn’t do this without the support of my wife, Steph, given that we were already juggling work and childcare during lockdown, let along throwing in so much running!
“I am trying to mix up my runs to keep it interesting, but as I live just by Lanchester Way – an old railway line – most of my runs begin and end there whilst I take in the area around Lanchester, Witton Gilbert, Bearpark and Broompark. On my first two or three runs, early on in lockdown, I saw so few people but it’s a lot busier now with people getting out for their daily exercise.
“Steve and I are pretty competitive, so we have been winding each other up and pushing each other on. After every run we send a little: ‘tag – you’re it’ GIF to the other and try to find the funniest one we can. One personal benefit of the challenge has been finding a lot of ‘hidden gems’ in my local area.
“We had each completed 97.5 miles as of 18 May, so we will each cross the 100-mile mark on our next run. It has actually flown past, but I am definitely feeling it in my legs now!”
Dave added: “We are both really grateful to everybody who has donated to our fundraising and hope our efforts will make a difference and help inspire others to support Brain Tumour Research. Research into brain tumours is an area that doesn’t get enough attention, and we want to do whatever we can to help out in this unprecedented situation we are all in.”
Brain Tumour Research spokesman Hugh Adams said: “We are very grateful to David and Steven for supporting us and raising awareness – some 16,000 people are diagnosed with a brain tumour every year and, despite the fact they kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, historically, just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.
“Like many organisations the coronavirus pandemic has meant a massive financial hit for us, particularly with the cancellation and/or postponement of challenges like the London Marathon, and we are anticipating a loss of 50% of income in just three months. We would like to thank Steven and David and all our supporters who are helping us through these difficult times.”
The charity is calling for a national annual spend of £35 million in order to improve survival rates and patient outcomes in line with other cancers such as breast cancer and leukaemia and is also campaigning for greater repurposing of drugs.