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My London Marathon: Andrew’s story

Andrew Quinn lost his Father to cancer just weeks before he got a place to run in the Virgin Money London Marathon 2017.

Getting a place in the marathon is one of the trickiest feats you can achieve in the running world, with record numbers of people applying each year. Almost a quarter of a million people applied last year for a spot, but only 38,000 runners will be at the starting line next April.

With so many charities offering places in the marathon, what inspires someone to back a charity funding global cancer research? Over the next few months we’ll be featuring some of the amazing people who are running the 2017 race with team Worldwide Cancer Research.

We asked Andrew how he felt when he got the news, and what his next (running) steps are.

How did you feel when you found out you’d got that precious London Marathon place?

It all happened very quickly and was a last minute choice I had made due to certain circumstances. Unfortunately, my Father had passed away a few weeks before and although I had entered the ballot, I quickly wanted to try and do something good out of a bad situation so I got in touch with the charity.

I wanted to focus my efforts in running which I have done over the last few years but not with the same motivation that I would have now. I felt I wanted to do something to help others if I could. The charity quickly got in touch as places had all been allocated but 10 minutes before I emailed, someone had dropped out and a bit of luck landed my way so I was really pleased I could run for this charity and a great cause.

What made you choose Worldwide Cancer Research as the charity to run for?

My father had passed away on the 27th September 2016 after a year long battle with prostate, bowel and bladder cancer and although he managed to have several breakthroughs with surgery and chemotherapy having been given an all clear from his pathologist, within three weeks his health very quickly declined and the cancer had spread at such a quick rate that he passed away with all of us in shock and disbelief.

He passed away in Porto, Portugal where he and my Mother had lived for the past three and a half years – years which were some of their best. I chose Worldwide Cancer Research as he loved to travel everywhere from Peru, Colombia, Abu Dhabi, the British Virgin Islands and all around Europe. It seemed fitting that the charity was global – just like he was. I also wanted to try and help anyone else or anyone in the future who may be in the same shoes as my father or my family.

It seemed fitting that the charity was global – just like Dad was.

How are you getting on with your fundraising?

It’s always daunting to fundraise, but with more than five months to go until the race I’ve already managed to raise £2000. I’m pleased with the progress but hungry to try and raise as much as possible – anything to try and help prevent the situation my family and many others have been through happening to anyone else.

What are some of your other experiences running?

Three years ago I ran the Paris marathon and the London marathon. Paris went very well and I got a personal best, but two weeks later I took on London and it didn’t go so well – it was a very hot day and I over hydrated and ended up in a medic tent and left to walk the remaining 14 miles! I’ve always wanted revenge to some extent and having been given a place through Worldwide Cancer Research I feel no better motivation to do it this time round.

You can support Andrew and follow his progress by visiting his JustGiving page.

Feeling inspired? You can set yourself a challenge just like Andrew. Sign up for one of our many other running events by clicking here

Communications Manager at Worldwide Cancer Research

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