A 49-year-old throat cancer survivor from Northampton is to tackle the Snowdonia Marathon backwards and forward today to celebrate his recovery.
Jeff Mason, from Northampton, and some close friends will today take on the 26-mile route through the peaks of Wales twice.
They will start at the finish line at 2am before taking on "the toughest marathon in Europe" backwards. Then, when they get to the starting line at around 9am, they will turn around and do it again with the other contestants.
Jeff and his team are running to raise money for cancer charity Tenovus Cancer Care.
Jeff last ran the Snowdonia Marathon in 2016 after an operation to remove a mass on his vocal chords, which was initially believed to be benign. However, after Jeff’s health began to decline in December 2016, he returned to the doctors and was diagnosed with throat cancer.
Despite being told he may permanently lose his voice, Jeff underwent gruelling treatment, including an operation during which his heart stopped. However, in January this year Jeff underwent a third operation, after which he was told all the cancer had been removed.
To celebrate his recovery, Jeff and a team of his supporters, including his wife Terri, decided to tackle the Snowdonia both backwards on forwards on the same day.
Jeff said: “I was given the all clear just before my first grandchild was born on February 6. I couldn’t speak at all for a month or so, but very gradually my voice has come back and I'm at around 75 per-cent now. I'm back at the hospital every month for a check-up and I've had regular scans of my neck and chest, and everything is still clear.
“Nothing was going to stop me doing the race this year for Tenovus Cancer Care, but a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament meant I can't run it as usual, so I've roped in my wife and some friends for this daft challenge.”
Mhairi Jones, running and challenge events manager at Tenovus Cancer Care, said: “We’re so pleased to have Jeff as part of ‘Team Tenovus’. He’s taken on an incredible challenge to raise money to support cancer patients and their loved ones and we’re behind him every step of the way.”