Retired fireman runs incredible 900 miles in 26 days inspired by best pal’s cancer fight

ENDURANCE athlete Grahame Shaddick ran an incredible 900 miles in just 26 days.

The former fireman was inspired to take on the epic route from John O’Groats to Land’s End after his best friend and former colleague Graham Rooms was diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer.

The 54-year-old averaged 35 miles a day throughout the challenge and burned more than 140,000 calories.

And he raised £9,000 for Protate Cancer UK.

Grahame, of Bushton near Royal Wootton Bassett, started on August 4 and finished on August 29.

He told the Adver: “We are all grown men, but when Graham told us he had cancer, there were lots of tears.

“He is one of these people that you would like to replicate all over the world. I’ve never known anyone to put anybody else first, no matter what he is doing.

“He helps out with clubs, he was a brilliant officer and a good mentor to me.

“He has never been in hospital in his life. It was really upsetting for everybody. There were lots of tears, and there still are, but hopefully, fingers crossed, we will get there in the end.”

He added: “His friends did different things for him, trying to raise money, and I thought I would attempt to run from John O’Groats to Land’s End.

“It was only me doing the running. My friend from my local running club came with me and drove a car just in case I needed it, for the first two weeks, and then my family took over.

“I was on my own for most of the day and then we met up in case I needed water or anything else.”

“I was running for about eight to nine hours a day with short breaks for water or food,” he said.

“It was not easy on any day.The repeated mileage each day was really hard especially in the afternoons when I started to get tired.

“Some of the flattest days were down the A38 around Gloucester to Bristol but not scenic, whereas Scotland was hilly but the views were astounding, which kept me really interested in what was over the next hill or round the next bend.

“The most beautiful view was in the Highlands in Scotland, absolutely stunning. It was just breathtaking, that was definitely the best part.

“The final day although hilly through Cornwall was probably the easiest to do as all the emotions of the past weeks came to the fore and I knew I was in touching distance.”

Grahame pre-booked B&Bs every night of the run. “I did quite a lot of planning before,” he said. “All the B&Bs were there and ready, and they were so generous as well, some people, when they found out what we were doing, gave us donations, they gave us cheaper or better rooms.”

He added: “I am a non-meat eater and my nutrition during the event was shocking. I was starting the day with whatever the B&B hot breakfast was with lots of coffee and a berocca multi-vitamin drink.

“If the B&B was not doing any food then it was porridge pots. During the day, it was a mix of double espressos, full fat coke, salt and vinegar crisps and whatever the local shop I was passing had in the sandwich section. For dinner, it was whatever takeaways were open for chips and veggie burgers.

“I ate what I fancied not worrying about nutritional intake at all, I figured if I was burning up to 6,000 calories per day, then I didn’t need to worry.”

Grahame was met by Graham on the finish line at Land’s End.

Graham said: “What a wonderful friend, I’m very proud of him. Nothing surprised me about Grahame, he is a wonderful person.

“We have a very special friendship. He is someone I’ve been able to trust, he is such a wonderful and honest person. He is just someone you can go to at any time and he will be there for you – that what he’s been for me.”

Graham had his prostate removed but the cancer spread. He underwent 33 radio therapy sessions.

Now he wants to encourage young men to get checked for prostate cancer. “Don’t ignore symptoms,” he said. “If I had ignored my symptoms, I might have been in stage 4, which is terminal, and my life expectancy may have been five years.”

To donate, visit justgiving.com/fundraising/grahame-shaddick

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