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Alliance Project Director, Connor Robinson kicks off marathon running challenge

After months of training, Alliance’s Project Director Connor Robinson has launched an incredible 8.5 marathon challenge in which he will run 365km in 365 days in support of the Christie Charity.

The challenge he set himself, was originally inspired by his friend Jack Prady. Jack’s mother, Tracy, passed away from bowel cancer in 2020. In her memory, Jack ran an incredible 252 miles and raised over £30,000 for The Christie, which provided the best possible care and treatment for Tracy.

Inspired by this story to take on his own challenge, Connor was just 10 weeks into his training programme when his family was hit with the news that his father had been diagnosed with cancer.

Having completed his inaugural marathon in Barcelona, and before moving on to his next in Manchester, we sat down with Connor to find out more about his extraordinary challenge and its personal significance.

“When I started the training plan, I never thought my dad would need The Christie's world class treatment patients received before I had completed my first marathon. Now, I'm experiencing first-hand the profound impact that fundraising has on the care and treatment that The Christie offers to patients and their families.”

Connor's challenge started with a bang in Barcelona. He shared, “The Barcelona marathon was phenomenal. I was struck by the diverse participants, showing that marathon running is accessible to all. It felt like a celebration of 18 weeks of rigorous winter training. Amazingly, we have already raised over £6,000, surpassing our initial £3,600 goal, which gave the event a celebratory feeling. Despite a massive blood blister that burst at mile 13, turning my green trainers red, I finished without any injuries.”

Post-Barcelona, Connor has continued his training: “I followed advice to rest entirely for a week and have had a sports massage to avert injuries. My return to running was a gentle 5k, and I’ll gradually increase to about 13k leading up to Manchester, maintaining a steady pace to prevent injuries. While I aim to beat my Barcelona time of 3:56, completing all 8.5 marathons is the ultimate goal, and that requires staying healthy.”

Connor is particularly excited about the upcoming Manchester marathon: “Of all the marathons I will be doing this year, the ‘home marathon’ in Manchester is really special to me. Running the Barcelona marathon, I didn’t see a single familiar face in the crowd on the route, which was fine, but the anticipated support in Manchester will be incredibly uplifting. Having previously watched the Manchester marathon and marvelled at the runners, participating myself, surrounded by such supportive crowds, will be truly special.”

After the marathon in Manchester, Connor will be continuing his challenge across the UK and Europe. If you’ve been inspired by Connor’s challenge you can find out more and make a donation, here.