Giles runs London Marathon in memory of parents
- Credit: Archant
A self-confessed ‘non-runner’ will take on the London Marathon this weekend to raise vital funds for Bowel Cancer UK in memory of his parents.
The disease claimed the lives of both Giles Horwood’s mum and dad. Sunday holds special significance for the 39-year-old as it would have been his mother Judi’s 68th birthday.
Dad-of-two Giles grew up in Sidmouth, as his father Mike was a senior partner at Ford Simey until his retirement. Mike died in 2011 after being diagnosed with bowel cancer.
Following his mother’s death on April 1 last year, also from bowel cancer, Giles contacted several charities, wanting to run on their behalf. He heard from Bowel Cancer UK in October that he had secured a place in Sunday’s race.
Giles, who now lives in Sheffield, said: “I couldn’t possibly say no and the day is particularly significant as it is being held on what would have been mum’s 68th birthday.
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“Although I am not a runner, I have always thought I would like to have at least completed one marathon. Given the last five or six years with dad’s and mum’s illness, I thought I could try and make a small difference and run a marathon while raising money for a cancer charity.”
Bowel cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in the UK, behind lung cancer, but is treatable if caught early.
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Giles, who is the eldest of two brothers, added: “Get screened and take action when something’s not right. My dad left it a little bit longer and didn’t really push it. He didn’t go to his GP as quickly as he could have done.”
In the run-up to taking on the 26-mile marathon, IT consultant Giles began running in the evenings and at weekends. He also completed the Sheffield half-marathon.
He said: “For me, the toughest thing was having to train over the winter. You would come back from work and it was dark in the evening. I was running in the snow and in thunderstorms.
“It’s about setting your mind to it and you can do it. It’s about preparation as well.”
Visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Giles-Horwood to support Giles.