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And I would run 500 miles… for cancer research

Adam Lee, from Enfield, took on 12 ultra-marathons over the course of seven months to raise money for The Institute of Cancer Research and help ‘give something back’ after his mum was successfully treated for breast cancer. 

Adam was inspired to fundraise for the ICR because his mother took part in the Breast Cancer Now Generations Study, run by the ICR. The study has followed over 110,000 women in the UK to get a better idea of the causes of breast cancer.

Adam’s mother was diagnosed with breast cancer seven years ago and, after being successfully treated with surgery and radiotherapy, now has no evidence of disease.

A change in plans

Adam, who runs a removals company, completed his challenge on Saturday 25 August 2018. His first race was the Pilgrim’s Way ultra-marathon in Surrey in February – a total of 33 miles.

Since then Adam completed all 12 ultras including his final one, the epic 100 mile T100 Thames Path ultramarathon, which followed the Thames National Path from the Thames Barrier to Streatley in Berkshire. In total Adam ran just under 500 miles.

Adam’s original plan was to complete an ultra-marathon every month through 2018. But he changed his plans to finish all 12 races by the end of August, due to first some happy and then some sad news.

First he and his wife are expecting their first child. But then Adam’s sister was sadly diagnosed with a rare form of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, inspiring him to change his plans again and sign up for his longest ultra yet, the T100 Thames Path ultra-marathon.

Adam Lee composite image

Images: Adam during his various ultra marathons.

Adam's ultra-marathon schedule:

Date Ultra-marathon Distance Location
1 4 February Pilgrim's Way 33 Surrey
2 25 February St Peter's Way Ultra 43 Essex
3 11 March Imber Ultra 33 Salisbury
4 14 April Calderdale Hike 40 Yorkshire
5 26 May London to Brighton 62 Richmond
6 10 June Weald Challenge 31 Sussex
7 16 June Five Passes 33 Lake District
8 14 July Chiltern Challenge 31 Chilterns
9 21 July Jurassic Coast 27 Dorset
10 12 August Salisbury 54321 31 Salisbury
11 19 August Bath Ultra 31 Bath
12 24 August T100 Thames Path 100 London

Huge motivation

Adam said, “When my mum was diagnosed I felt very hopeless, I didn’t know how to help or what to do. Since then I have wanted to fundraise and I wanted to do something big. 

“Seeing cancer first-hand was a huge motivation. I want to run more and raise even more money. When my sister was diagnosed I felt helpless again. What I knew I could do was push myself further. So I signed up to the 100 mile Thames Path run.

“I am really enjoying the experience. I love getting out in the countryside. Being alone with yourself trying to push on and keep running for 15 hours is like a personal experiment. So much of ultra-marathon running is the mental challenge.”

To support Adam and make a donation, please visit Adam's JustGiving page.


If Adam has inspired you to join #TeamICR and take part in a challenge event to raise money for the ICR, please visit get in touch with [email protected].