A Northampton man who lost his mother to cancer is trying to break a record in her honour - By becoming the fastest person ever to complete marathon dressed as a giant shoe.
Thomas Winkler, whose girlfriend Emily Bamforth hit headlines around the world last week when she had a selfie taken with popstar Adele, believes he can beat the current benchmark of 4 hours and 15 minutes when he takes part in the London Marathon on April 27.
The 26-year-old from Abington has already raised £3,500 for Cancer Research UK having completed the Paris Marathon costume-free on Sunday as well.
But he says his efforts are all in memory of his mum Karon who died from complications around her lung cancer in 2014, having fought off breast cancer in the 1990s.
Mr Winkler said: “Running two marathons is nothing compared to what my mum went through every minute, every day and every week of her treatment.
“She kept fighting to the end and she never let it get her down. She was texting people in the hour before she died saying she would be okay.”
Mr Winkler, who works for building society Nationwide, is taking his fundraising effort seriously by covering his car in Cancer Research UK liveries, holding fundraising events and he has even appeared on the pitch at Sixfields during the half-time of a Northampton Town game, dressed as “Shoe Barker” in an attempt to stump up funds.
His mum, who also worked at Nationwide in Northampton, was treated with 11 different types of chemotherapy and went through two experimental cancer treatments before she passed away.
Unfortunately the cancer spread and a brain tumour was found. Even then she continued to work and was stable for a year.
Mr Winkler, whose previous best marathon time is 4 hours and 45 minutes, said: “Right up until the end mum had the most positive outlook on life, smiling and joking and always putting others above herself. Mum always said to me ‘I’m not ill, I’ve only got cancer’.
“I want to run and raise as much money as I can 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.”
To support Thomas visit: http://www.virginmoneygiving.com/TomsMarathons2016
To sign up to run for Cancer Research UK, head to cruk.org/marathon.