Image: James Fuller running for the ICR in his rainbow tutu!
“I suppose I have always had a competitive streak in me, I work in sales so every month is a new challenge with targets to hit! When I started running I was delighted when I was able to finish a 5km parkrun and the rest of the afternoon would be a write off, but I naturally challenged myself to run faster and further...and then I knew I’d really caught the running bug!
“I suppose the question is why would anyone want to run a marathon?! 26.2 miles is a long way in a car, let alone trying to run it! In order to take on this challenge it had to be for a cause that was close to my heart.
“Since losing my mother-in-law last year to ovarian cancer- a silent killer, I have been really passionate about making as much noise as possible about the disease, and fundraising to support cancer research is a challenge I can put all of my passion and competitiveness behind.
I have worn my t-shirt with pride
“The key to my fundraising was the early arrival of my fundraising pack which included my vest, I was so proud the first moment I tried it on! And then from there I started on my fundraising plan, £2,000 is quite a large sum of money to raise from friends, family, work colleagues and even strangers, so I made a start as early as I could.
“In July 2017 I opened my JustGiving page and to be totally honest it has become a bit of an obsession since then! I have attended many different events from motor cross meets that have been ran by my brother in law, to family fun days at work where I have worn my t-shirt with pride and taken my bucket along with me.
“I have had people sell things and donate the proceeds. I have also had some amazing donations such as a Redbull Racing F1 cap that was signed by both of the drivers, to a signed shirt from the Harlequins rugby team. The generosity has been quite overwhelming.
“My original plan was to have my fundraising target in the bag by the end of 2017... which didn’t happen. My fundraising was needing a boost so at the end of January I organised a cake sale at work.
“I put a little post on my local Facebook group for the village where I live and I ended up with people all over baking for me, which coupled with everyone from work itself and my boss with 3 huge boxes of samosas we were set to break all the records for a cake sale in the office.
“In total a staggering £455 was raised, I knew it was a great idea to hold it on payday (oh and I told everyone that the calories didn’t count as it was for charity). I was well on the way to achieving my target.
£12 from a selling one banana
“I went to my local curry house one evening, I’d had a long run so it was well deserved. We got chatting about what I was doing as they had often seen me running in the village, by the time I’d left I had bought every seat in the house for the last day of February and had agreed to sell off the tickets.
“The tickets flew out and on the 28th we had an amazing evening, as well as the profit from the ticket sales and a slice of the booze profits I held an auction for items that people had brought along.
“They were random to say the least, from a bottle of anti-freeze, a scratch card, go karting vouchers and VIP treatment at Silverstone, to origami and a memory foam pillow. £550 was raised (including £12 from a selling one banana) and a great night was had by all!
“This saw me smash through my target but I wouldn’t rest easy, I am still pressing on and have just gone over 150% of my target. I am also wearing a brightly coloured tutu on the day, which my friends are sponsoring me £50 each to wear, it’s the most expensive tutu in the world!
We take on the marathon as a team
“I feel so honoured to be educating people on what ICR does, without the work that they put in this amazing research would not happen. The statistics stack up against us, the sooner a cure is found the better. And if I can help by pushing myself to 26.2 miles I will be doing so as part of an amazing team, #teamICR.
“I am passionate about everything that I do and I guess this has shown in what I have been doing to prepare for the marathon. #teamICR is made up of amazing individuals, each has their own story as to why we are doing what we are, I’m sure no sane person would think it is a good idea.
“I have already made friends and look forward to meeting my team mates on the day before or on the morning of the marathon, we have been sharing training stories and plans. On the morning of the 22 April we take on the marathon as a team and I can’t wait for a beer afterwards... Hollywood Dave said he's paying!!”
If you would like to support James in this event you can donate on his JustGiving page.
If you are inspired by James’ story and would like to find out more about running to raise funds for our research, please see our running event list throughout 2018 and 2019.