IT’S a journey that a St Helens racing cyclist and his late wife used to make almost every week – but they never ran all the way!
Duncan Sparrow was so determined to raise funds for charity in memory of his wife, Lyn, that he decided to leave his bike in the garage and lace up his running shoes instead.
And the 66-year-old pledged to test himself to the limit in honour of his beloved wife, 64, who tragically succumbed to ovarian cancer last April.
So, on Saturday (October 8), he braved rain and a chilly north westerly wind to run all 18 miles from St Helens to Southport.
Speaking after his gruelling three-and-a-half hour challenge, Duncan told the Reporter: “It was hard – very hard. But that’s why I wanted to do it. If I had done something on the bike then it would have been too easy and I would have enjoyed it too much!
“My wife and I used to go to Southport virtually every week and we always stopped off in Debenhams for a coffee – so that’s where I decided to run to.”
Raising vital funds for Cancer Research and The Christie cancer hospital in Manchester, where Lyn was treated, Duncan hailed the staff at The Christie as “unbelievable”.
He wasn’t alone on his 18-mile charity mission either – he was joined every step of the way by pal Karen Jarvis, who recently overcame a breast cancer scare.
Duncan, of Eccleston, whose plumbing and heating company sponsors the St Helens Cycle Racing Club, added: “I had been in training for this challenge since July but I couldn’t have done it without all the support I received. I’d like to say a big ‘thank you’ to Jo and Debbie for their support during the challenge too.
“Even when we were on our way loads of motorists beeped their horns to encourage us and keep us going.”
To make a donation following Duncan’s charity mission, call in at D Sparrow Plumbing and Heating at 41 Duke Street in St Helens town centre.