Royston man to run London Marathon dressed as giant ovary
PUBLISHED: 12:16 11 April 2019 | UPDATED: 12:30 11 April 2019
Courtesy of Craig McMurrough
A London Marathon runner from Royston is to go the distance at this year's race dressed as a giant ovary.
The 6ft foam structure is being worn by Craig McMurrough in memory of his sister Cheryl Earnshaw, who died of ovarian cancer three years ago – just weeks after being diagnosed.
Craig, who has run 13 marathons, will be taking on the 26.2-mile challenge for ovarian cancer support charity Ovacome.
He hopes that, as well as bringing home a bucket full of donations collected on the run, that he will be raising awareness of the disease, too.
He said: “Out of all of the marathons I’ve taken part in, and I’ve done four of the six world marathon majors – Chicago, New York, Berlin and London, as well as others in Spain, Portugal, Italy and Ireland – London is still my favourite.
“For the vibe, enjoyment and reaction from the crowd, London is the best. It brings runners representing a charity together so that you can hear all about others’ stories, and the generosity of the crowd is amazing. Once I collected £2,000 in the bucket I carry around the course.”
For Craig it also gives him a precious moment to reflect on the life of sister Cheryl – who found out she had ovarian cancer too late for it to be effectively treated.
“It was so quick,” said Craig.
“Cheryl passed away in June 2016 and the April before that she was helping our auntie to move house. In May she had seen her GP complaining of bloating and fatigue, but was told it was nothing serious and that she might have fibroids.”
Craig has since found out that bloating is a key symptom of ovarian cancer.
He has spent the years since his sister’s death spreading this message and, together with his family, has raised more than £20,000 for Ovacome. This included him doing a parachute jump and a climb of Mount Kilimanjaro fundraiser in which he placed a photo of Cheryl and an Ovacome T-shirt at the summit.
The 48-year-old added: “I keep setting myself more demanding challenges and am a great believer in mind over matter – who knows where all of this will end. But I think Cheryl would think this was all rather funny and hopefully smile at what I’m doing.”
If you would like to help Craig with his fundraising ahead of the London Marathon on April 28 go towww.justgiving.com/fundraising/craig-mcmurrough12