Llandudno man runs virtual marathon around pier for cancer charity

A 65-YEAR-old man completed the Virtual London Marathon for the second consecutive year on Sunday to raise money for a cancer charity which particularly resonates with him.

Ian Turner, an entertainer formerly of Llandudno Town Council, started at Llandudno’s pier gates and ran along the promenade 26 times on October 3 in aid of Breast Cancer Now, who provide and offer extensive research into breast cancer and care for those it affects.

Ian and his partner, Anna-Marie McConnell, who was diagnosed with breast cancer 12 years ago and has thankfully since been given the all-clear, are also both registered volunteers for the charity.

This year, he completed the challenge in a commendable five-and-a-half hours, a 41-minute improvement on his 2020 time, and has so far raised roughly £800 for Breast Cancer Now.

Ian said: “With the support of members of the North Wales Road Runners club, and a long-standing member of the Abergele Harriers, I had somebody with me every single step of the way this year, and that helped enormously.

“Coming back towards the pier was tough, because there were gusts of wind in our faces which weren’t helping. (It was) Just sheer relief (at the finish). With eight miles to go, I lay down on the pier gate just to have a quick massage, and I was screaming the prom down; the cramp was that painful.

“It was easier than last year in that I was better prepared. I had done 86 three-mile park run courses since January, which I didn’t do last year, so I’d got that under my belt.

“With gift aid, I think we’re just over £800 now, so hopefully we’ll hit £1,000, which was the target. The doorbell went at 9.15am today and there was a lady standing with a £10 note for me!

“It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month (in October) as well, so to raise as much awareness for breast cancer is so important. If it gets one lady to get herself checked, find she has something and save herself, then that’s great.”

North Wales Pioneer: Ian Turner after completing the marathon. Photo: John HattonIan Turner after completing the marathon. Photo: John Hatton

In total, this was the 23rd marathon Ian has run, having also raised money through such events for other charities including Childline and the NSPCC.

And he also received a letter of congratulations for his efforts this year from Aberconwy MS, Janet Finch-Saunders, for which he was extremely grateful.

Ian added: “Janet sent a very nice letter; she always does. She wished me well and it was a very kind letter to say well done and good on you. She’s always very supportive.

“To knock 40 minutes off (last year’s time) showed the miles I’d put in. I drank so much this time because last year, I cramped up so early. It’s the fluid that helps fend off the cramp and lactic acid, so I just drank and drank during the race this year.

“Knowing that you’ve got runners beside you, keeping you going, was just absolutely super.”

You can still donate to Ian’s cause, and help him reach his aim of raising £1,000 for Breast Cancer Now, by visiting: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ianturnerbcn21.

To find out more about Breast Cancer Now, visit their website at: www.breastcancernow.org.

North Wales Pioneer | Llandudno