Mark Kirkham from Haverfordwest in Pembrokeshire won’t be taking things easy now he’s turned fifty, instead he is taking on a year-long, weekly running-challenge to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.
Mark wants to thank the cancer charity for the help and support that it gave to his parents and plans to fundraise by running fifty,10K races between May 2019 and April 2020. The charity runner hopes to raise £50,000 for Macmillan to help people living with cancer but is looking for local businesses and organisations to help him realise his goal.
Speaking about the fundraising challenge, Mark said: “I’ve been wanting to do something to say thanks to Macmillan Cancer Support for being there for both my parents in the last stage of their lives. They provided support and comfort, not just for my mum and dad, but also for my family during these times and beyond.
“Our Macmillan supporter workers gave us all kinds of support from physically helping, giving advice to access other forms of support, right down to offering a shoulder to cry on.”
Mark claims that he’s not a runner but believes that there’s no challenge in doing something you do all the time. He has only every run one 10K race and after the race he swore that he would not do another one – let alone 50 races in 12 months!
Reflecting on the running challenge, Mark said: “To be honest, there’s little that I do that qualifies as challenging but as running is easy enough to get into, and relatively inexpensive, the 50 at 50 for 50 was born!”
It isn’t just completing the 50 races that are challenging, as Mark is looking at reducing as many race and travelling costs as possible, although he is hoping to get free entry into many of the 10K races. On top of possible entry fees, Mark has travelling costs to compete in the races that take place all over Britain.
The most significant challenge, however, is the target Mark has set to raise £50,000 for Macmillan. Speaking about the challenge ahead, he said: “I might be able to raise a few thousand pounds from friends and family, so I need to attract sponsorship from organisations who are sympathetic to this amazing organisation and the help that it gives to people in Wales living with cancer.”
Talking about Mark’s ‘50 at 50 for 50 Challenge, Sue Reece, Macmillan Fundraising Manager, commented: ‘Mark’s just amazing and has set himself an incredible challenge. Over 25,000 people are living with cancer and beyond in South West Wales and nearly 5000 people diagnosed with cancer every year.
“Macmillan wants to be right there every step of the way to support everyone with a cancer diagnosis. Just £28 could pay for a nurse for an hour to provide medical, practical and emotional support.
“Mark is reaching out to businesses in all the areas that he will be running to offer opportunities for sponsorship and to invite like-minded people of all ages to get involved and even run with him.”
You can find out more about Mark’s challenge, and also donate, on his JustGiving page (https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/50at50for50) and on his Facebook page,