A Salford man is running 46 miles from Manchester to Liverpool to raise money for Cancer Research UK.
One in two of us will get cancer in our lifetime, and Tony Preshaw was inspired to start this challenge due to a personal family experience with the disease.
Tony, 28, said: “My reason for doing this for Cancer Research is during the past year a close family member has been going through cancer treatment for bowel cancer.
“Challenges have been faced during the pandemic and many procedures and consultations have taken place, some have been cancelled. The cancer resulted in a stoma being fitted and the bowel was removed.”
Aside from the treatment and its effects, Tony also explained the effect this has had on his family as a whole.
He added: “It’s definitely been tough on the family, but it has been something that has brought us closer together. The person has taken everything in their stride and is living a normal life (still undergoing some further checks) but we’re hopeful everything will be okay. Like I said also, this is for everyone who’s suffered with cancer or sadly lost their lives.”
Tony started with a unique twist with his runs by using a number generator to determine the number of miles he would do (between 1 and 10 miles). He has since then changed his system and he explained why.
“I thought, well, I might not enjoy just doing one mile or two miles, so I then decided to change it to four to 10 between four and 10 miles,” said Tony.
“Over the last couple of weeks, I have actually changed the number generator idea. Just because I need a little bit more structure to the runs because obviously, I’m ending the runs with a massive run on the 26th of June, I’m running from Manchester to Liverpool.”
With a challenge this tough there were always bound to be some difficulties, and he detailed what has caused him the most trouble during this period.
He added: “Do you know what I think it is, sometimes the longer runs because I, there was a couple of occasions where I wasn’t able to run because I had my vaccine which caused me to have some really rubbish side effects and so on that day I wasn’t able to run.
“So, I decided on that day that I was going to double the miles for the next run. So, for example for about nine miles, which I did, I would then do 18.”
Whilst being physically demanding it was also clear to see that it could have some mental challenges as well.
He said: “On a weekend I run with my one of my friends who is also running from Manchester to Liverpool with myself.
“I think it’s also challenging when you’re running on your own, because you’re in your own thoughts, you’re in your own your own space and it’s just you, so sometimes having someone there gives you that motivation to carry on.”
Despite the obvious hardships that come with this amount of running, Tony was also keen to show that it has huge benefits.
He explained: “A massive benefit for me is losing weight and also raising money. I’ve currently raised over £400 now since we started on the 15th March.
“And too, I was putting on weight and I got to 15 stone, and now I’ve lost three stone, which for me is a massive benefit.”
The communities in Salford and the Quays have supported many causes over the pandemic, and Tony detailed how important that support is.
He said: “So to be honest, there’s certain people within media city that are a massive support, they all want to be there, and they want to support you.
“We have got a lot of people that are going to be joining us in Liverpool to support us on the run. So, I think we’re hoping we’ve got around 40 people at the moment that are going to be at the finish line.
“You see people and they speak to you and stuff and they say ‘how many miles have you done today? How are you doing? How’s it going?’ And it is a really nice feeling when you see people and they do want to get involved and ask you questions and just see how you’re getting on.”
Looking forward to his biggest run on the 26th June, Tony spoke about the details of the journey and his emotions towards doing such a difficult task.
He said: “Yeah, so Manchester to Liverpool is 46 miles. I’m pretty nervous. I think it’s actually classed as an ultra-run. You get your marathons and get your ultras. I think having Simon who’s my friend who was running with me, who was also raising money for a separate charity, I think that will really help.
“So, our plan is to get up at 4:30 in the morning, sunrise, because I’ve already checked when sunrise is. We’re leaving from the Lowri theatre, and then we head out onto the transpennine trail. Yeah, so we were hoping it should take around 10 hours.
Tony did explain that there would be some pit stops in order to refuel.
He said “There is going to be a couple of pit stops where we meet people and people give us refreshments just to make sure that we’re okay and we’re hydrated and things like that and have a couple of snacks along the way as well.
He also showed how he’s looking forward to it by adding: “I’m very excited, and I think it’ll be a massive achievement to complete a challenge like that.”
Having already raised £435 out of his £500 goal since the 15th March, he now has until the 17th June to hit his target – something which now seems very achievable.
You can find more information about his event and how to donate using his fundraiser page here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/theendisnear?fbclid=IwAR1Pq6vHr57kt-cuXMUjrlxdXdSWcJdbvf3PUTJQKMb3S99kgEmcLAGSwoM