A Stirling man has embarked on an ambitious attempt to tackle 30 half-marathons in 30 days for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research in memory of his best friend, the man who inspired him to take up running.
Alastair McMurray is taking on the challenge – which includes the Glasgow half-marathon - to raise £10,000 for our charity’s life-saving research into all blood cancers as a tribute to Dr Pat Beausang, who died from leukaemia in August 2009, just three weeks after being diagnosed.
Alastair was born in Shettleston and now lives in Stirling, where he met Pat, a consultant geriatrician at Stirling Royal Infirmary: “Pat lived three doors up from me. Football and Tennis are more my sports, but I had an accident falling off my bike a few years ago which left me with two prolapsed discs in my neck, making both pretty difficult, so I started going running with Pat.
“We became good friends. He was a tremendous athlete – a 32-minute 10K man. Seeing him succumb to leukaemia was absolutely devastating. After Pat died I became depressed, stopped running, stopped eating healthily and put on weight. Then in October 2009 I decided to do the Strathcarron 10K with friends in memory of Pat. I used to run it with Pat and now a group of us take part every year.”
Alastair will run a half-marathon every day throughout September, either before work, at lunchtime or in the evening. The dad of three is committed to weaving the exhausting series of 13.1-mile runs around his work and professional life and will complete four legs of the challenge in Stockholm, while at a conference. Once finished, he plans to allow himself just one day’s rest before joining friends for the Strathcarron 10K on Sunday 2 October.
Young blood cancer patients from Glasgow’s Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Yorkhill, family, friends and colleagues have given Alastair their backing as he runs to beat blood cancer. He has already raised more than £9,000 for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, which is currently investing £1.9 million at the University of Glasgow into groundbreaking research to find better treatments and cures for adults and children with blood cancer.
Alastair said: “I’m under no allusion how difficult it is going to be. I’m not a runner really, just a punter with a dodgy neck and a dodgy knee. I turned 50 last year and wanted to do something crazy for the last time in support of something that’s very personal to me.
“Major advances in treating certain types of blood cancer have taken place over the past decade, especially in children, but there is still a lot to be done, particularly in adult blood cancers. Please support me if you can, continuing research is so important.”
Keep Alastair on track!
Support Alastair on his month-long challenge by visiting his fundraising page.