The CLIC Sargent Running team’s first star runner of 2015 is Ben Ashworth.
Ben was diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer in March 2012 and since his diagnosis has taken on the amazing challenge of running six marathons in six months.
Along the way he has raised an incredible £17,000 for four charities, including CLIC Sargent. This is his story:
Six marathons in six months
'Before my diagnosis I used to run. It was my dream to run a marathon, but I was forced to abandon my training for the Blackpool Marathon 2012 when I became ill.
'With my marathon goal still in mind I started running again in January 2014. After running for a few weeks I decided to enter my first marathon, the Berlin Marathon, in September. It was eight months away and I was concerned that my health might fail, so I entered the Blackpool Marathon in April and decided to fill in the gaps all the way to September, six marathons in six months.
'Running six marathons in six months was incredibly hard work. But I did it despite continuing to undergo chemotherapy for terminal bowel cancer. There were times when chemo made me very ill and unable to train.
'Before my fourth marathon at Wakefield in June I spent two weeks in bed, including the day before the marathon but I was determined to make it to the start line. If I could do that I knew my determination would see me through to the end.
'When I get tired I remember those who can't'
'I’m raising money and doing my best to promote awareness of bowel cancer symptoms, so other families don’t experience what we have. But I'm also trying to show my young daughters that my positive spirit has endured.
'I haven't merely succumbed to cancer and I won't let illness get in the way of living my life and realising my dreams.
'Despite the concerns I had over my health holding out we made it to Berlin
and I’ve decided to carry on running. I ran my seventh marathon in Chester one week after Berlin
'In November I ran my first Ultra Marathon
, 36.6 miles... on 20 December I faced my toughest challenge yet, a 45 mile monster run that includes tackling the 21 mile Preston Guild Wheel twice.”
'We know there’s a chance my health might fail, but I’m very lucky to be running. A runner once wrote 'I run because I can. When I get tired I remember those who can't run, what they would give to have this simple gift I take for granted, and I run harder for them. I know they would do the same for me'. It's definitely true in my case!'
Find out more
You can read more about Ben's challenge on his blog
To find out how you can take part in a running event with Team CLIC Sargent, please contact our award winning Running Events Team on 0845 602 4770 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.