A Northamptonshire man completed six marathons - in just five months - in memory of his late wife.
Former quality manager, Derrick Sims (56) lost his wife, Veronica, in February last year. She had been diagnosed the previous June with gastric cancer. The couple had been married for six years and Derrick wants to mark that milestone, this year, by running the marathons in aid of AICR.
“I am impressed that AICR is truly international, funding the best research, wherever that is in the world,” he said. “I read a lot about cancer research during and after Veronica's illness and I like the fact that the charity funds many of the world's most promising scientists, working towards conquering cancer.”
Derrick, from Ringstead, hasn't been able to get back to work since his 58-year-old wife's death. He was made redundant when his employers went out of business. But he's kept active. He belongs to local running club Wootton Road Runners and, last year, completed a coast to coast UK walk with his sister and brother-in-law.
Derrick took part in several marathons in his younger days – he ran his first London Marathon (in 3hrs 6 mins) in 1989 and hung up his trainers 18 years ago after completing the 1992 event. “Running is a focus for me,” he explained. “I really wanted to do this (six marathons).”
His first test was the Cheltenham Circular Challenge on June 19 2011. His final race was the Snowdonia Marathon in October.
Speaking from AICR's Scottish headquarters, Geraldine Long, the charity's donor development manager said: “We at AICR believe that cancer is a world-wide problem that will need a world-wide effort if we are going to beat it. As we receive no Government funding, we rely entirely for our income on generous donors like Derrick. We are absolutely delighted that he has decided to fund-raise for AICR and wish him luck and success in his six-marathon challenge.”
To donate please visit www.aicr.org.uk/butterflyfunds/6marathons