Article and Photographs: Jonathan White
Paul Dean, a father and teaching assistant from Nantwich, aged 41, has completed his 24 hours mega running challenge raising well over £6,500 for Cancer Research UK, which far exceeded his original £5K target.
Paul started his epic run at Holyhead, on the island of Anglesey in north Wales, on Friday 17th June 2022 at 6pm and finished a day later in the centre of Nantwich at 6pm on Saturday 18th June.
Paul ran an incredible 93 miles – the equivalent of over 3.5 marathons – of the total distance of 108 miles. His route included two car journeys, so he could catch up time to run alongside supporters and to make it to Nantwich for 6pm.
Paul arrived at a rainy Nantwich town centre to be met by dozens of friends and supporters. His run finished outside The Wickstead Arms where he gave a live interview on local community radio station The Cat 107.9 FM. He then posed for photographs outside the Cancer Research UK shop on the town square, before returning to The Wickstead Arms for a well-deserved pint!
In September last year, Paul lost his friend Sheetal to breast cancer. This tragic event proved to be the inspiration he needed to set a date for the challenge and begin training in earnest, in part to raise money to improve treatments and find cures, but also, importantly, as a tribute to Sheetal, her family, and others suffering similar heartache. Paul ran the final leg into Nantwich with Sheetal’s husband Richie and their children Nia and Rishee.
Cancer Research UK are the world’s largest charity dedicated to saving lives through research. Their vision is to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.
Paul is still accepting donations for his fundraising run. To donate, please visit his JustGiving page.
Paul had previously raised several thousand pounds for blood cancer charity Bloodwise (now known as Blood Cancer UK) when he ran 10 marathons in 10 days. He ran in memory of his father, David, and two friends Mark and Will, who all succumbed to the illness.
Paul Dean said: “The final distance I covered was 93.31 miles. Not the 108 miles I was hoping for but it was my best so I’m content. I’m so grateful for all the support, encouragement, company and messages over the last few days. Most importantly, thanks to everyone who donated – £6,000 and counting, helping those at Cancer Research UK reduce the cruel suffering caused by cancer in all its odious forms.”