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We covered 38 miles - one for every year of Paul Aspinall's life
Paul’s mum, Susan Pendelbury, congratulates brave runners Jon, left, and Ian after their mega marathon
CANCER victim Paul Aspinall will never be forgotten. The father-of-two from Haydock died in May 2012 but two of his friends ran a mammoth marathon from Manchester to Liverpool on what would have been his 40th birthday.
Ian Barker and Jon Van Terry covered 38.5 miles from Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium to The Albert Dock, a mile for each of Paul’s 38 years of life.
Ian, 39, was a pal of Paul’s at Haydock High School and was friends with him until his death. When he heard that Jon was planning the run to raise funds for Cancer Research in memory of Paul, he opted to join him.
Ian had an added incentive to complete the gruelling run as his four-year-old nephew, Freddy John Barker, from Haydock, is responding well after completing an intensive first year of chemotherapy treatment at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. He has lost two relatives to cancer and an uncle is in remission.
Ian, a telecommunications worker, said: “It was a hard slog, but worth the effort in memory of Paul and in gratitude to Alder Hey.
“I’m a casual gym member but for the past eight months I’ve been training for this.”
Between them, Ian and Jon raised more than £6,000 for Cancer Research and the hospital.
Paul’s mum, Susan Pendlebury, explained how her son was a computer programmer and a work colleague of Jon Van Terry at IBM. He was diagnosed with cancer at 25 but was clear for 12 years until the disease returned.
“Paul suffered from myoepithelial carcinoma, a rare form of cancer,” said Susan. “He had an operation to remove a tumour but it had spread to his liver, the base of his spine and his pelvis.
“Paul was witty with a good sense of humour and kept positive about life. Jon and Ian were so brave to complete the run in memory of Paul; he would have been so proud. Fatigue started to kick in about five miles from the end and Paul’s older sister, Mandi France and her daughter Tanisha, 12, and son, Declan,11, ran the rest of the way with them.”
They were cheered across the finish line by family and friends.
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