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Lawyers in lockdown running relay marathons to help find brain tumour cure

By David Porter

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Two lawyers are running the equivalent of 10 marathons over 30 days to raise funds for Brain Tumour Research to help find a cure for the devastating disease.

Steve Allan (left) and David Low are running the distance between Aberdeen and Durham.
Steve Allan (left) and David Low are running the distance between Aberdeen and Durham.

Inspired to take up running by a close mutual friend who recently lost his fight with a brain tumour, the pair, who met at school at Robert Gordon’s College in Aberdeen, now live 263 miles apart and are taking on the challenge together.

Steven Allan, 35, lives in Udny and is an associate in the commercial team at James & George Collie solicitors in Aberdeen.

Steven is currently furloughed due to the ongoing pandemic and is using his unexpected free time to generate funds for charity.

David Low, also 35, lives in Durham and is a partner at Swinburne Maddison solicitors in Durham.

Steven said: “I have recently completed a 12-month running challenge raising funds for Brain Tumour Research, but was aware that the charity is suffering because of the pandemic, especially with many challenge events like the London Marathon being postponed or cancelled.

"We had seen that Brain Tumour Research were looking for people to take on the 2.6 Challenge and realised that we live 260 miles apart, or 263 miles to be exact.

"That distance seemed too much of a coincidence and, with surprisingly little persuasion, Dave agreed to take on a 10 marathon relay with me.

"I must admit, I didn’t expect him to say: ‘let’s start tomorrow’ though!

“I am trying to mix up my runs to keep it interesting, but as I live just by the Formartine and Buchan Way – an old railway line – most of my runs take in part of that route with the rest on the roads around Newmachar, Udny Station, Udny Green and Pitmedden.

"On my first two or three runs, early on in lockdown, I didn’t see a soul, not even a car, but it’s a lot busier now with people getting out for their daily exercise.

“Dave and I are pretty competitive so we have been winding each other up and pushing each other on.

"After every run we send a little: ‘tag – you’re it’ GIF to the other and try to find the funniest one we can.

"We have also been trying to take a photo or two each time we’re out of something unusual.

"I definitely peaked early on sharing a selfie with a llama in a nearby field!

"We had each completed 97.5 miles as of May 18 so we will each cross the 100-mile mark on our next run.

"It has actually flown past, but I am definitely feeling it in my legs now!”

Steven added: “We are both really grateful to everybody who has donated to our fundraising and hope our efforts will make a difference and help inspire others to support Brain Tumour Research.

"Research into brain tumours is an area that doesn’t get enough attention and we want to do whatever we can to help out in this unprecedented situation we are all in.”

Brain Tumour Research spokesman Hugh Adams said: “We are very grateful to Steven and David for supporting us and raising awareness – some 16,000 people are diagnosed with a brain tumour every year and, despite the fact they kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, historically, just 1 per cent of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.

“Like many organisations the coronavirus pandemic has meant a massive financial hit for us, particularly with the cancellation and/or postponement of challenges like the London Marathon, and we are anticipating a loss of 50 per cent of income in just three months.

"We would like to thank David and Steven and all our supporters who are helping us through these difficult times.”

Brain Tumour Research funds sustainable research at dedicated centres in the UK.

It also campaigns for the Government and the larger cancer charities to invest more in research into brain tumours in order to speed up new treatments for patients and, ultimately, to find a cure.

The charity is calling for a national annual spend of £35 million in order to improve survival rates and patient outcomes in line with other cancers such as breast cancer and leukaemia and is also campaigning for greater repurposing of drugs.

To add your donation to Steven and David’s fundraising go to http://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/AberdeentoDurhamRelay

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