Dedicated son and runner completes London Marathon in memory of his dad
Completing a challenge with a loved one can be very rewarding and something that many people aspire to do with their parents or children. But for James Pool, his dream of running the London Marathon with his beloved dad, Michael, was never to be as he succumbed to Melanoma leaving James to complete the run for both of them.
James chose to raise money for Worldwide Cancer Research to help scientists find cures and treatments for the 200 types of cancer there are today.
"Me and my dad ran a half marathon together when I was a teenager and had always planned to run the London Marathon together," said James. "We had actually applied and been accepted in 2009 but a month into our training, dad was diagnosed with cancer. This year would have been his 60th birthday so it was the perfect time."
After three years of fighting the disease, Michael passed away with his family beside him. "I don't talk about my dad much, it was a real roller-coaster for him before he passed but it was important to me to run the marathon for both of us and raise some money," says James.
"Although dad died specifically of Melanoma, I wanted to help raise money for research for all types of cancer. My grandfather passed from leukemia and my Godmother is a breast cancer survivor. That's why I chose Worldwide Cancer research."
James managed to raise an incredible £7,123 for Worldwide Cancer Research despite completing the marathon in April on one of the hottest days of the year.
"I'm not a natural runner, just like my dad I am more of a rugby man so training was horrendous," says James.
"There were a lot of early starts and I was fighting off a lot of different injuries - just little niggles like bad ankles that put me out of training for a couple of weeks. I also had to lose a lot of muscle mass as I was bigger than the average runner. My aim was to complete the run in 3 hours and 45 mins and for the first 15 miles of the run I was bang on time. However, the day was so hot I really struggled. The dehydration made me want to sleep while running. I saw my mum and girlfriend in the crowd and they told me to keep going and try and keep a good time. I was proud of myself for not letting my competitive side get in the way and just finishing the race."
James, who is from Devon, currently lives in Nice with his girlfriend Marta. "Marta was a rock during the mouths of training," he says. "She always had a fry up waiting for me after my morning runs."
For James, completing this year's London Marathon was a huge achievement and he would love to raise more funds for Worldwide Cancer Research in the future.
"I'm pretty sure dad would be proud. I would love to run another marathon, but maybe in another 20 or so years with my own son or daughter."
Huge thanks to James for sharing his story and running those many miles for Team Worldwide! Click here to find out more about the many events you can take part in.