When Ian Hoult tackles the grueling Run Bike Run challenge as part of the Active Northumberland Kielder Marathon Weekend 2017, he will do so with the memory of a special lady driving him forward.
Wendy Reed, a close family friend, died at home in Northallerton, North Yorkshire, in January, five years after being diagnosed with ocular melanoma.
Following her second round of radiotherapy, Wendy’s eye had to be removed and the cancer spread to her liver in 2014. She was treatment free in 2015 but the cancer returned in 2016.
Ian, 46, from Durham, will take part in the Run Bike Run, splitting the marathon course into three segments, on foot and on bike, for the second time. He will raise money for Wendy’s Wish, a charity established by Wendy’s family to raise money for eye tumour research and to support cancer patients and their families.
Having previously suffered from pneumonia and glandular fever, Ian has made his own lifestyle changes and taken on past challenges, including coast to coast bike rides and the Kielder Run Bike Run in 2016. This year he will also enter the Great North Run in support of Wendy’s Wish.
Ian, a Neighbourhood Protection Manager at Durham County Council, said: "The bit of pain I suffered doing the Run Bike Run last year was nothing compared with what Wendy went through and I’m really motivated to make the most of the opportunity this year to highlight Wendy’s Wish and raise some funds to support eye tumour research.
"I really feel motivated to get in shape. Kielder is a beautiful place, with a certain amount of peace, even if you are charging around Lakeside Way on a bike."
The Active Northumberland Kielder Run Bike Run takes place on Saturday, October 7, as part of an exciting weekend of races and challenges on the banks of Kielder Water including the marathon and the half-marathon.
The weekend is run by Events of the North, a company led by Olympians Steve Cram and Allison Curbishley, in conjunction with Northumbrian Water, Active Northumberland, and Northumberland County Council.
Race Director Steve Cram said: "The people who take part in the races at the Active Northumberland Kielder Marathon Weekend range from Olympians to park runners, but they all have a story to tell. Some, like Ian, are spurred on by tragedy and the desire to use sport to raise funds for a great cause or to raise awareness of something close to their hearts. We wish Ian and all of the entrants into this year’s races the best of luck and are proud that the weekend is a platform for all such competitors to take on their own personal challenges."
David Hall, Head of Leisure Strategy at Northumbrian Water, said: "We believe Kielder Water & Forest Park is the most beautiful setting of any marathon in the world and we draw runners and riders from across the UK and beyond. The Active Northumberland Kielder Marathon Weekend grows in size and excitement every year, but what makes it truly special are the stories behind those who take part and Ian’s Run Bike Run challenge is a great example of that."
Lorraine Dewison, Chief Executive of Active Northumberland said: "It’s fantastic that Ian will be taking on the challenge of the Run Bike Run as part of the Active Northumberland Kielder Marathon Weekend for the second time.
"His story is very moving and his dedication is impressive. I urge everyone to support Ian in his bid to raise as much money as possible for Wendy’s Wish and to come out and support him at what promises to be a fantastic sporting weekend."
Anyone who wants to support Ian Hoult, and Wendy’s Wish, can do so by visiting https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/wendys-wish
Or visit www.wendyswish.co.uk for more information on Wendy’s Wish charity.
For more information on the events taking place at Kielder Marathon Weekend 2017 and to take part visit http://kieldermarathon.com/run-bike-run/