Yorkshiremen Sean Coxhead is determined to finish his home-county Yorkshire Marathon because it could be his last chance after being diagnosed with an incurable cancer.
Husband and father Sean Coxhead says that 'nothing will stop him' from taking part in this year’s Asda Foundation Yorkshire Marathon because he knows that he is very unlikely to get another chance to take part.
Sean, 36, who lives in York, initially entered the event with the simple aim of beating his previous time, but in May this year he was diagnosed with an incurable cancer.
Sean’s determination to be at the Yorkshire Marathon start line on Sunday 14th October has been unwavering. And with support from organisers, Run For All, and Good Gym – where Sean is a task force member – he looks set to compete at Sunday’s marathon.
Speaking to Run For All, Sean said: “The support I have received is incredible, I can’t thank everyone from Good Gym enough and it’s great that Run For All have also helped make my last marathon possible.
“In May I was diagnosed with terminal bladder cancer, which has spread to my spine and pelvic bone. At the time I was given about 12 months to live, with possibly a few extra months on chemotherapy.
“My goal now, first and foremost, is to be at the start line, and then to finish. It may well take me the full eight and a half hours at walking pace but I don't care.
“I am going out there on October 14th to prove that I won't be stopped, cancer will not beat me. I will finish the Yorkshire Marathon for all cancer survivors out there.”
Organisers Run For All have provided Sean with two complimentary team entries for the day’s Corporate Relay – sponsored by Welcome to Yorkshire. This means that Sean will be supported by runners throughout his marathon.
Mile three will have added significance for Sean, where he will receive support from hundreds of fans at the Good Gym cheer station. Once Sean has passed, the whole of the cheer station crew will be transported to the finish to complete the run with Sean.
Sean’s run will provide a big fundraising boost for MacMillan Cancer Support. If you wish to support his run and donate, please visit Sean's blog www.notseriousjustcancer.co.uk.
Speaking about his experiences with the charity, Sean said: “In the short time I've had contact with MacMillan Cancer Support myself, they have already proven themselves to be an invaluable service to have available.
“The nurses have been very easy to speak with, very knowledgeable, sensitive and professional. They provide incredible support and advice beyond what NHS staff are able to do themselves.”
Sean’s run will go down in Yorkshire Marathon history. He hopes that his story and blog will help support and inspire others who find themselves in similar situations in the future.
He writes in his blog: “Who knows, my ramblings on here may help someone else who is going through similar things. That’d be awesome if it did.
“I plan for this blog to stay live for a good few years after I have gone, allowing people to read back through my posts and remember the last months. I am hoping to have plenty of positive posts for them to read.”
The Asda Foundation Yorkshire Marathon is part of the legacy of the late Jane Tomlinson who, similar to Sean, took on a host of endurance challenges for charity whilst battling terminal cancer.
Jane raised over £1.85m for charity and, in turn, inspired a generation of fundraisers to take on their own challenges and fight illnesses such as cancer.
Runners at the Yorkshire Marathon will be running for fun, as a personal challenge, for a charity close to their heart or one of the event’s partner charities which this year include - the Jane Tomlinson Appeal, Macmillan Cancer Support, Candlelighters, The Children’s Hospital Charity, Alzheimer’s Society, Martin House Children’s Hospice, Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice, St Leonard’s Hospice, St Gemma’s Hospice and the Stroke Association.
It is supported by the Asda Foundation, Aftershokz, Up & Running, Runderwear, LTS, City of York Council, High 5 Sports Nutrition, Erdinger, University of York, Yorkshire Post, bananakick, BBC Radio York and Hertz.