A Northampton man is celebrating after completing the Virgin Money London Marathon while dressed as a giant shoe.
Thomas Winkler, from Great Houghton, completed the course in five hours and three minutes and has raised almost £6,000 for Cancer Research UK. It’s his second marathon in a month – the 26-year-old took part in the Paris marathon as well. The Nationwide worker took on the challenge to raise money for Cancer Research UK in memory of his mum Karon Winkler. Karon died after a lengthy battle with cancer at the age of just 54.
Karon passed away in November 2014 following complications due to lung cancer. She had been diagnosed with breast cancer in the late nineties but was given the all clear. In 2009 she had chest pains and was admitted to hospital, test founds she had lung cancer.
Thomas said: “Yesterday’s London marathon was just another example that the world isn’t all doom and gloom. London stopped, came together and supported 35,000 people on their marathon journeys. I’m already contemplating what to do next, where to go next and how to challenge myself even more.”
Karon, who also worked at Nationwide in Northampton, was treated with eleven different types of chemotherapy. She went through two experimental cancer treatments and was the first person in the UK to be given one of those treatments.
Unfortunately the cancer spread and a brain tumour was found but Thomas’s mother continued to work and was stable for a year.
On November 29, 2014 she was admitted to a high dependency unit after developing a lung infection. She passed away later that day.
Thomas said: “I wanted to run and raise as much money as I could for Cancer Research UK because if any of the money I raise can help finding the cure for cancer one second sooner then that’s one second that people don’t have to deal with any further heart ache caused by the nasty disease.”
Last year, Cancer Research UK’s biggest ever Marathon team raised £3.6 million to help accelerate life-saving research.
If watching the race has inspired you to take on a running challenge, the charity has a wide range of events for all abilities, including half marathons and 10ks for men and women, as well as the women-only Race for Life 5k and 10k events.
And for women who have been inspired by the London Marathon and want a challenge, there’s the new Race for Life Marathon and Half Marathon events in London and Nottinghamshire.
Danielle Glavin, Cancer Research UK’s spokesperson for the region, said: “It’s thanks to people like Thomas who get out there and fundraise for the charity that we are able to go on making progress in the fight against cancer.
“Thomas took on one of the biggest sporting challenges available to help bring us a step closer to winning the race against this disease. We are incredibly grateful to him and every other runner who pulled on their trainers and took on the marathon for Cancer Research UK.”
To support Thomas visit: http://www.virginmoneygiving.com/TomsMarathons2016
To see more of his fundraising videos go to: https://youtu.be/6L3DIPxIik0