‘I never give up’ – Mr Ovary takes on marathon from Royston to Cambridge and back for Ovacome

PUBLISHED: 11:03 07 October 2020

Mr Ovary Craig McMurrough made it back to  from Cambridge just in time for Royston snapper Kevin Richards to catch him in the final moments of his virtual marathon. Picture: Kevin Richards

Mr Ovary Craig McMurrough made it back to from Cambridge just in time for Royston snapper Kevin Richards to catch him in the final moments of his virtual marathon. Picture: Kevin Richards

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Seasoned Royston marathon runner Mr Ovary completed a ‘virtual’ 26.2 miles at the weekend in memory of his sister Cheryl.

Mr Ovary and his support running team Glenn Foulger, Sarah Temple, Andy Webb and Nick Wood. Picture: SuppliedMr Ovary and his support running team Glenn Foulger, Sarah Temple, Andy Webb and Nick Wood. Picture: Supplied

A well-known fundraiser around town, Craig McMurrough donned his ovary costume for his 20th marathon – running all the way to Cambridge and walking back to Royston for charity Ovacome.

He told the Crow: “Back in March I was due to take part in the Tokyo Marathon but of course that didn’t happen and then London was moved – and I said there and then whatever form it would take I would do it.

Mr Ovary and his support running team Glenn Foulger, Sarah Temple, Andy Webb and Nick Wood at the start of the marathon. Picture: SuppliedMr Ovary and his support running team Glenn Foulger, Sarah Temple, Andy Webb and Nick Wood at the start of the marathon. Picture: Supplied

“When the gym reopened on July 27, I was back doing two-hour stints on the treadmill every couple of days wearing a 10kg weighted vest.

“For the virtual marathon I ran all the way to Cambridge and I was soaked through. I was shivering away and had to buy a complete set of skins in Cambridge while in my Ovary to wear underneath because I was close to hypothermia. But I never give up – and that was one of my sister’s mottos in life.

Mr Ovary and Stacey Kent collecting outside M&S Royston in September. Picture: suppliedMr Ovary and Stacey Kent collecting outside M&S Royston in September. Picture: supplied

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“I was blown away by cars sounding their horns along the way and people were pulling over and stopping to donate. I came back slower because I want to make sure people see the costume and what it’s about.

Mr Ovary Craig McMurrough made it back to  from Cambridge just in time for Royston snapper Kevin Richards to catch him in the final moments of his virtual marathon. Picture: Kevin Richards Mr Ovary Craig McMurrough made it back to from Cambridge just in time for Royston snapper Kevin Richards to catch him in the final moments of his virtual marathon. Picture: Kevin Richards

“People get out of their cars and tell me their stories. The kindness of strangers never ceases to amaze me.

“The costume tells a bit of a story in itself. Some guys said ‘we thought you were a testicle’ – and that starts the conversation, because blokes don’t always get it and my message is for males and females.

“Guys, If you recognise these symptoms in your partner you should encourage your partner to go and get seen to.”

Craig’s sister Cheryl Earnshaw died in June 2016 from ovarian cancer, and he has raised just over £40,000 for Ovacome since then – meaning he is nearly half way through his quest to raise £100,000. His efforts have seem nominated for a Pride of Britain Award and he plans on taking ‘Mr Ovary’ further afield than Royston and the East of England to spread awareness.

“I know how important it is to get tested,” he said. “So spreading that awareness is very important to me.”

In 2021, Mr Ovary plans to take on Tokyo and London marathons, undergo an aeroplane wing walk, canoe the Zambezi and trek the Sahara – all COVID permitting, of course.


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