Gareth Jones ran the Paris Half Marathon in memory of his fiancée Heidi and to raise money to fund much needed research. He shares his story.
"I lost my fiancée Heidi to ovarian cancer three years ago and I've always struggled with the fact it took so long to diagnose.
As men, we don't always think we’re qualified to tell the women in our lives to go to the doctor if they're feeling unwell. To share a concern is one thing but to persuade someone is much more challenging.
I share my story in the hope that others might gain more awareness and help their loved one spot the early signals that something might be seriously wrong.
I have supported Ovarian Cancer Action for the last few years because I appreciate the work they are doing to raise awareness and fund research.Gareth Jones
I decided to run the Paris Half Marathon, not only to get myself off the couch and exercise, but also to raise some money for a good cause.
The support and generosity I received from my family, friends and work colleagues was tremendous, with people offering me advice with training and the mental preparation of running that distance. Not to mention the very generous sponsorship donations for the run.
The training was tough; especially during the winter evenings when it is dark and cold and you don’t want to go outside.
However, giving up drinking for the month before the half marathon was even harder, although it certainly helped with building my stamina and speed.
On the day of the run itself the weather was atrocious, with heavy rain and strong winds battering the runners from the start.
It made for grim conditions but the good will of everyone running, and the amazing supporters who lined the street in the pouring rain, still made for an amazing atmosphere.
I ran with a good friend who managed to set a great pace for us to run and I felt great throughout the entire 21km. My final time was 2h04m55s, which I was extremely happy with.
Next time I’ll aim for under two hours, or who knows, maybe double up and do a full marathon!"
Would you like to take on a challenge for Ovarian Cancer Action? Why not join us for the beautiful Royal Parks Half Marathon in London?