Date: 
June 14, 2017

Irish Cancer Society launches first virtual marathon in Ireland

Take on ‘Marathon in a Month’ and reduce cancer risk while raising funds to support cancer patients

The Irish Cancer Society has launched Ireland’s first virtual marathon campaign, Marathon in a Month, which aims to get people moving while raising vital funds to support people affected by cancer. As part of the innovative fundraising campaign the Society is asking members of the public to complete the distance of a marathon during the month of July and track their progress online as they complete the 42km.

Participants can walk, jog or run the marathon distance in a day, week, or over the whole month of July, completing the 42km in a way that is a challenge to themselves. Each participant can link their everydayhero online fundraising page to their finesses app and keep track of their progress as they raise money to help the 40,000 people in Ireland who will be diagnosed with cancer this year.

A recent Healthy Ireland Survey has shown that just 32% of adults undertake the recommended level of physical activity, which is 30 minutes of physical activity five days a week. The most common reason given for the lack of activity is being too busy.

Cancer incidence in Ireland is increasing, but during Men’s Health Week the Irish Cancer Society is reminding the public that four out of ten cancers are preventable. The EU Code Against Cancer recommends daily physical activity and a healthy body weight amongst it’s 12 step guide to reduce cancer risk.

Mark Mellett, Head of Fundraising at the Irish Cancer Society said, “Get active this July and take part in your own personal marathon and make a difference to the lives of people affected by cancer. Every week we should be doing 150 minutes of physical activity. That’s the same number of people who get a cancer diagnosis in Ireland every day. Take on the Marathon in a Month challenge and make every step matter by getting your friends to sponsor you and help us to provide care, information and support for cancer patients and their families.

“You can walk, run or jog your Marathon in a Month, at your own speed and in your own time, but the main thing is you can do it, you can complete a marathon! It can be over a few hours, days or weeks, in your local park, on the way to work, at home, or abroad, this is a marathon everyone can complete. To be a part of this epic challenge, join the team today at www.cancer.ie/marathoninamonth and help support families across Ireland who are affected by cancer.”

The Irish Cancer Society relies almost entirely on donations from members of the public to fund its work, which includes services for people affected by cancer such as the Society’s 13 Daffodil Centres and freephone Cancer Nurseline 1800 200 700 which provided free advice and information to over 42,000 people last year. The Society’s Night Nursing Service provided over 8,000 nights of care for cancer patients at end of life last year, while the Volunteer Driver Service provided free transportation for patients to attend 11,000 chemotherapy appointments.

Money raised will also fund innovative cancer research projects, with €20m invested into lifesaving research by the Society since 2010. This investment has supported more than 150 cancer researchers to work on a diverse range of individual or collaborative projects that will ultimately lead to better ways of diagnosing and treating cancer.

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