A man who decided to get fit after losing both his dad and brother to cancer has launched a running club – and the proceeds are helping others with the devastating disease.
Berkhamsted solicitor Paul Owen has been running for eight years, taking up the hobby after suffering the loss of his brother Michael, who was only 53.
“He was a fairly big lad and I was heading the same way,” said Paul, 46. “That was really the catalyst that got me going.
“It was a huge wake up call. I lost just over five stone and went from couch potato to ultra marathoner.”
Paul, a partner at High Street law firm Sumner and Tabor and a qualified national athletics coach, has more than 50 marathons and ultra marathons under his belt including two 100 mile races.
And now he’s inviting others to join him in his passion for running.
“The emphasis is on encouragement and participation,” said dad of two Paul. “The Wednesday sessions in particular are designed so that speed or fitness doesn’t impact on being able to take part. In other words, slower and less fit runners can get the same out of it as the faster people.”
The added bonus is that runners are asked to make a voluntary contribution of £3 or £5 - depending on the number of sessions you take part in - and all the cash goes to the Hospice of St Francis. “All hospices do a tremendous amount of good work,” said Paul, who is also taking part in the London Marathon in aid of the Northchurch-based charity.
Paul runs the Wednesday morning session from 9.30am, when interval training is used with short fast bursts of running followed by recovering breaks. There are also runs on Monday mornings at 9.30am and Saturdays at 7am, when the runs - all held around the Berkhamsted area with routes changed each week - are longer but at a slower pace.
Participants are asked to pay a voluntary amount of £3 for one run or £5 for two or more runs in a week.
To find out more call Paul on 01442 872311 or email firstname.lastname@example.org