Cancer survivor Tom Garrod is hoping to set a Guinness World Record when he sets off on Thursday to run the length of Ireland from Mizen Head in Co Cork to Malin Head in Co Donegal.
The 40-year-old London-based ultramarathon runner is taking on the gruelling 344-mile challenge to raise awareness for testicular cancer.
“My mantra has become ‘Never, never give up’ — be it sport or illness, you just have to push as hard as possible to reach your target. If it’s something you truly believe in, you will do anything to achieve it,” said Tom, who was diagnosed with stage four testicular cancer when he was 27.
“I was told I would die. My chances of survival were not good,” he said.
Tom underwent high-dose chemotherapy, a stem-cell transplant and major surgery.
“After one year, with sheer perseverance, support from my family and incredible medical treatment, I beat the cancer,” said Tom, who then made the decision to raise awareness of testicular cancer through sport.
He has since gone on to complete marathons, triathlons and ultramarathons, before taking up the challenge of running the length of Ireland.
Tom will be running through towns and villages wearing his “Bustin’ Your Balls (BYB) kit” while his crew go ahead of him handing out leaflets with testicular cancer awareness advice.
Posters will also be sent ahead to places Tom will be passing through to inform them he is coming.
Another person attempting a feat of endurance on Irish soil this summer is Kerryman Shane Finn, who is running 24 marathons to raise €100,000 for Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Ireland.
The 24-year-old fitness entrepreneur will run the nearly 630 miles over the course of 24 days.
“The 24 is symbolic as I see quite clearly how 24 hours a day can be difficult for someone with a disability and their family.
“So its a marathon a day for 24 days, and it’s our aim to raise €100,000 in the process,” said Shane.
“I am excited about this event, I am slightly going into the unknown as I will never have pushed my body that far before,” he added.
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