"Every step of the way has been for them"

On Sunday 23rd April, 210 incredible Team Pancreatic Cancer UK runners took to the streets of London to raise awareness and funds at the yearly London Marathon.

Through sunshine and rain, the runners were cheered on by our amazing volunteers and staff, followed by a much-needed post-race celebration.

The team has so far raised over £600,000 and counting. We chatted with 3 runners, Matt, Marie, and Jackie, about their marathon journeys.

Matt, “Challenging myself to raise money for such a great cause would’ve made her so proud.”

I lost my beautiful wife Andrea to pancreatic cancer back in 2020. Her advice to me and our kids was to keep doing things we knew made her proud. Challenging myself to raise money for such a great cause would’ve made her so proud. Though she’d have called me daft too!

This was my first ever marathon, though I’ve done a half marathon and a couple of 10ks. It’s been a mental challenge as much as a physical one! I’m very lucky to have been able to train with others also running, being able to share the journey has made a huge difference.

I used to live in Blackheath, where I would watch the runners go past, thinking ‘I could never do that.’ 20 years later, there I was doing it for the first time. I couldn’t wait to breathe it all in and just  enjoy it.

The day was incredible. The noise, the people shouting your name, seeing your loved ones around the course. It was almost overwhelming at times. I had a good cry when I saw my kids at the end! It’ll take me a few days to fully digest the sensations and emotions I think. But it was like nothing else I’ve ever experienced.”

Person running on the track wearing a Pancreatic Cancer UK top

Marie, “Running the marathon was not about me anymore, but about making sure other families would not have to go through what mine did.”

“Running the London Marathon has always been a dream of mine. For 10 years, I have entered the ballot but was never successful. And this year was no exception. But on the day of the results, I lost my dad to pancreatic cancer. When I emailed Pancreatic Cancer UK to be part of the team, I got a positive answer within an hour. Running the marathon was not about me anymore, but about making sure that, thanks to the charity and the money raised, other families wouldn’t have to go through what my mum, brother and I went through.

I’d run the Dublin marathon previously, along with a few half marathons, but being part of a team this time made a massive difference. Lauren, Issie and the whole Pancreatic Cancer UK team, plus Phil the coach were simply phenomenal, and always there to answer any questions.

I knew it was going to be an emotional day. But the team securing 3 spots for my family and friends to be there, not to mention the reception at the end, made the whole day even more special. I am so grateful and honoured to have run for Pancreatic Cancer UK. To raise awareness, funds and make the lives of many families as sunny as possible. This might become a yearly tradition for me! My dad, our family and the people and families that have gone through this devastating disease… every step of the way has been for them.”

London marathon runner after the marathon

Jackie, “I did this to show my grandchildren you can do anything you want if you put your mind to it!”

I chose to run the marathon for Pancreatic Cancer UK because my baby brother Billy sadly passed having been diagnosed with this horrible disease. I wanted to do anything I could to promote the cause, and hopefully prevent other families feeling the pain we have.

I hadn’t participated in a marathon before, but had run the half marathon and Great South Run for Pancreatic Cancer UK. I did find the preparation harder than expected. Training is tough. Not only do you need to be fit, but you need the support of family and friends, and your mind needs to be in the right place. But the support I had from Pancreatic Cancer UK was so great.

I hope that my hard work fundraising and training helps promote and spread the word of Pancreatic Cancer UK, and the work that needs to be done with pancreatic cancer. I did this to show my grandchildren you can do anything you want if you put your mind to it! And I have enjoyed every mile along the amazing journey I’ve been on.”

pancreatic cancer uk marathon runner runs past cheer section

Thank you so much to the whole, amazing Team Pancreatic Cancer UK that took part in the London Marathon 2023.