16:56 Thursday 24 January 2013

Clocking up the miles in fight against the 'Big C'

Written byRICH GUTTRIDGE

TWO friends have set themselves the target of raising £7,000 for charity by the time they come to run the London Marathon in April.

Matt Yates, from Ashby, and his friend James Finney have signed up to run the 23-mile course in aid of MacMillan Cancer Support, setting themselves an ambitious fund-raising total in the process.

But before the pair even think about tackling the famous course in the capital, they have several other events lined up in a bid to get the money rolling in.

A music event featuring five live bands playing free of charge has been organised to take place in Castle Donington, which in itself is expected to raise more than £2,000, and as if running in the London Marathon wasn’t enough, the duo are also planning a 15-mile walk.

Mr Yates describes him and his friend James as ‘a couple of everyday blokes’, and though the pair are aiming to put smiles on people’s faces in the coming months, there is a serious point behind all the effort they are going to for MacMillan.

Mr Yates said: “James’ grandmother died from cancer and his family benefited greatly from the support of MacMillan. When the worst scenario happens they continue to support that family, which is why we wanted to do it. The ‘big C’ is a horrible disease and it can affect anyone.

“I ran the London Marathon last year and raised £5,500 for the British Heart Foundation. I couldn’t believe the responses from everyone and wanted to do it again this year.

“It’s quite difficult going round asking the same circle of friends if they will sponsor me to run a race, so we’re trying to do things a bit differently.

Mr Yates says he is about to re-enter what was the most testing experience he has ever put his body through, but knows the end result will make it all worthwhile.

He added: “I know from experience how hard it is. It’s probably the worst thing I’ve ever done in terms of pain – but also the most rewarding. When I’m at the deepest depths in the 20th mile, I think of all the people who have supported me.”

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