Sarcoma UK’s charity runner, James Read, will be running the Vitality British 10k London Run alongside thousands of other runners on Sunday 10th July dressed as a giant golf ball!
In June 2015, just two months after getting married, James’ 29 year old wife, Sarah, was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive type of cancer called sarcoma. Sarah’s sarcoma was a primary bone sarcoma, but sarcoma’s can be soft tissue or bone and can affect almost any part of the body.
James was one of the many people who had never heard of “sarcomas” before June last year. However, ten people every day are diagnosed with sarcoma in the UK, and they account for 15% of all childhood cancers.
In order to give back to Sarcoma UK, a charity that have helped James and his wife enormously since Sarah’s diagnosis, he is running to help increase awareness and raise money for the charity. Sarcoma UK is the only cancer charity in the UK focusing on all types of sarcoma. As a charity they fund research into sarcomas, raise awareness, and provide reliable information to patients. Sadly, due to the apparent ‘rarity’ of sarcomas, advances in finding cures or effective treatment have been slower than other, more common, types of cancer.
Sarah is under the care of the London Sarcoma Service, and members from this team have been awarded medical research grants from Sarcoma UK in the past.
James says: “The research Sarcoma UK fund really does advance, refine and ultimately improve the treatment patients like Sarah receive.”
However this is not the first time that James has run dressed as a golf ball and raised both awareness and money for Sarcoma UK. He ran this year’s London Marathon as a golf ball and will be returning to the streets of London for the Vitality British 10k London Run this summer, joined by his family and friends.
James is supporting Sarcoma UK’s ‘On the Ball’ campaign with his costume. This aims to tackle the problem of delayed diagnosis, for instance, on average sarcoma sufferers visit their GP three times before being diagnosed. More information can be found here: https://sarcoma.org.uk/get-involved/other-ways-get-involved/order-ball-pack/about-ball.
Since Sarah’s diagnosis, James and his family have raised more than £16k through sponsored sporting events, charitable auctions and selling handmade items.
With the Vitality British 10k set to be one of the next events, James is delighted to be taking part and is excited to see how much more money he can continue to raise for such a deserving charity close to his heart.
He says: “I have taken part in the Vitality British 10k for the past couple of years and really love how accessible this event is to runners of all abilities. This is in fact one of the reasons we have chosen this event to recruit friends and family to run as a group for Sarcoma UK.
“In the months before the event I will be trying to maintain fitness. Running has been invaluable for me since Sarah’s diagnosis and has really helped my mental wellbeing, giving me a chance to de-stress and clear my head and ultimately allow me to help support Sarah the best that I can”.
The Vitality British 10k London Run, taking place on Sunday 10th July, will see runners race through the heart of central London. Starting on Piccadilly, runners will make their way past huge crowds and London landmarks including the London Eye, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. The route proves hugely popular with both new and seasoned runners, attracted by the chance to run one of the most unique routes in the world and be spurred on by tens of thousands of spectators lining the route from start to finish.
If you would like to take part in the Vitality British 10k London Run for yourself, click here to book your spot now!
Entries include a free finishers technical t-shirt from race partner Brooks, a medal, a goody bag and the opportunity for a post-race massage on race day.