David Farrell
June 7, 2019

Irish Cancer Society encourages people to get moving for its virtual marathon

Dubliner who almost lost left leg prepares for the challenge

The Irish Cancer Society is urging people to get moving as part of its virtual marathon campaign, which challenges people to clock up 42km in 31 days. The charity’s Marathon in a Month fundraising campaign is a free and easy way to complete your first marathon and help the fight against cancer.

Participants can complete the distance of a marathon in any way they chose; walking, running, hiking, swimming or cycling. By registering, they’re given an everydayhero online fundraising page, this links to their fitness app, keeping track of their progress as they raise money to help the 40,000 people in Ireland who will be diagnosed with cancer this year. Last year hundreds of people around the country took on the challenge and raised €90,000 in the process. 

By taking on MIAM this July, participants will be raising vital funds that will help ensure no one has to face cancer on their own. Marathon in a month is suitable for all ages and fitness levels, you can clock up KMs in any way you like - whether that’s walking the dog or collecting the kids from school.  It’s the perfect challenge to go from total beginner to marathon runner!

David Farrell, who fought to keep his left leg as a child because of a condition called Neurofibromatosis, clocked up a mammoth 180km as part of the challenge in 2018. This year David is taking on Marathon in a Month again with the aim of reaching 200km – the equivalent of almost five marathons. David, who lost his grandmother to cancer in 2013, said the challenge not only helped raise funds to fight cancer, but also encouraged him to get active.

“I was born with my left ankle turned severely inwards. Doctors suggested to my parents that I may never walk on my left leg and they should seriously consider amputation but they refused. Multiple surgeries throughout the years got me on my feet, and I decided to use them for a good cause. The challenge got me moving, so much so that I smashed the target and kept going. I’d encourage anyone to challenge themselves to complete the distance. Knowing you are making a difference to cancer patients while reducing your own cancer risk is a great motivation.” 

Mark Mellett, Head of Fundraising at the Irish Cancer Society said, “Sadly more people than ever before are hearing the words ‘you have cancer’. We want to help people take the necessary steps to prevent cancer for themselves and their loved ones. Marathon in a Month is a great way for people to take that first step towards regular exercise, which reduces the risk of cancer, while also raising much needed funds to support cancer patients and fund more research. Hundreds of people who didn’t see themselves as marathon runners completed Marathon in a Month last year. It’s a great way to be a marathon runner at a time and pace that suits you, to take steps to prevent cancer and be a role model for your loved ones to encourage them to become more active. Please take on the Marathon in a Month challenge this July and make every step matter!’’

For more information or to register to participate in Marathon in a Month visit www.cancer.ie/marathoninamonth