Ultra Marathon Hero
Every day we are moved by the stories we hear from people. We talk to sufferers, survivors, families and friends and we hear stories of love and loss in equal measure. Many of the people we speak to are desperate to help in some way, the challenges they see sufferers face fill them with the need to do something that might make a difference to someone’s story if not today then soon.
Owain Thomas is one such person, introducing his extraordinary story in his own words.
“Last year whilst at work, I received the news from one of my best friends, Phil Corbett, that he was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer and they were going to operate on him. Not long afterward he had the op, however he then informed us of the worse news anyone can hear. It was terminal and continuing with the op wouldn't help. It hit home, he was at the time only 32 with a young wife and a 1 year old. Not so different to myself. Now he continues his fight and has passed the 12 months he was given and even has a little baby girl addition to the family. So if he is still pushing his limits it only meant that I should too.
“Knowing I couldn't help him personally by curing him or operating on him as I wasn't that talented, I decided to use the only skill I had and that was to run. By running, I could raise awareness and some money so that maybe I could make a difference to others in the future. I chose a small charity as they always get over looked by the bigger ones such as Cancer Research. The charity was Ochre http://ochrecharity.org.uk/ which is a small oesophaegal cancer charity.”
Owain did run. In fact he ran and ran and in the process moved hundreds of people and raised thousands of pounds. Our Royal Navy hero ran an extraordinary seven ultra-marathons in 87 hours to raise awareness of oesophageal cancer as well as funds for Ochre.
The 250 miles from the New Forest, where Phil lives with his wife and children to Land’s End was a gruelling trek, much of which Owain did alone channelling Phil’s suffering to take his mind off his own. As word spread of his heroic endeavour runners joined him for parts of each day and helped give him the strength to complete the challenge, the first runner ever to do that on this route.
Owain and Phil. May the road rise up to meet you both and may the wind be ever at your back. We are humbled and hugely grateful for your extraordinary effort and be assured we will use every penny to raise awareness and save lives.
Owain and his support team joined his companion runners.