This guest blog comes from 50-year-old Kevin Webber. If you read our first article about Kevin, you’ll definitely want to know what happened next in his mind-blowing quest to run, walk or crawl the Brighton marathon 14 weeks into chemotherapy. It’s race day.
Kevin: “Last year, same race, three hours forty seven minutes. This year: four hours thirty six minutes – my slowest, most emotional and painful marathon ever. But also the one that gives me most pride.
“I don't know if it was the cancer, the chemo, the hormone drugs, the chest infection or the lack of training for the last month that slowed me down. Maybe it was a combination of the above? Whatever the reason, that's kind of irrelevant now because my biggest achievement was raising over £20,500 including gift aid for Prostate Cancer UK. I know that will make a significant difference and in turn will raise awareness and help them work to find a cure.
“To everyone who supported me, thank you all so much for your generosity. To think that around 200 people helped towards this total is extremely humbling and no words I can say can really convey my gratitude, nor what this has meant to me when I have had dark thoughts about my situation.
“So race day started well enough. I was running comfortably at a sub four-hour pace for the first nine miles and then my right knee went. The more I ran the more painful it became so I hobbled the last 17 miles. What got me through? Well my mate Jim ran along side me the whole way. I know he could have broken four hours easily so am grateful for his sacrifice. My family popped up at various stages including my bro-in-law who flew in from Canada just to support me and my wife who ran her first ever 10k race just before me in one hour and nine minutes. Also Andy, Liz and Steve from work appeared everywhere and, I believe, kept me going as I was not prepared to let any of them see me walking and I didn’t know when they might pop up again.
I know from the Prostate Cancer UK forum that there are hundreds of people in their own way doing their own ’marathons’ every day
“You read about digging deep, I don't think I have ever dug as deep as I did in the last hour. But the support, the money I was raising, the fear of letting anyone down and the fact that I wanted to show other men who have this dreadful disease that despite everything, sometimes you can do things if you don't give up, no matter how hard it is.
“I know from the Prostate Cancer UK forum that there are hundreds of people in their own way doing their own ’marathons’ every day, struggling for sometimes the most basic of needs. And what they do is way beyond what I achieved with this marathon. They also frequently have the support of friends and family getting them through each day just like I did on race day. They are the real heroes but get no praise for what they do.
Crossing the line together felt awesome – a real Men United moment
“Crossing the line at the end with Jim and Craig (a guy we met in the last few miles who was running for his Dad who had died with the disease) was such an emotional moment for me. It felt awesome – a real Men United moment. I looked Craig up after the race to sponsor him on his Just Giving page and, I wasn’t expecting it, but he did the same for me.
“The day after I felt a bit stiff but generally not that bad, my knee felt fine. In fact I’ve already entered the same race for 2016. However I also want to find something even bigger than that – so watch this space.”
Running fanatics Kevin and Jim used to get mistaken for science fiction characters on their late-night training runs for the Brighton marathon. Then came some devastating news that would change – but definitely not weaken – their motivation to reach the finish line