Dan’s Bid to Raise £25k For Charity in Memory of Best Friend
Dan Gregory crossed the finish line of the Cape Wrath Ultra 2018 today. Despite being hit by illness early in the race, which prevented him running for 1.5 days, Dan was delighted to re-join the other runners on Day 5 and reach the end point at the Cape Wrath Lighthouse, the most northwesterly point in mainland Britain.
He said: “It has been crazy, tough, so hard, but an amazing experience.”
Day 5: "I had a great comeback," said Dan.
Dan took part in the endurance challenge for three reasons: For his childhood friend, who died of cancer; for the Cancer Research UK charity; and for himself.
Before the start line on May 20 in Fort William, Dan, 42, of Evesham, near Worcester, explained: “At the age of 39 my childhood friend, Cy Garret, died of germ cell cancer. It accounts for only three per cent of all diagnosed cancers and the cause of the cancer is still unknown, which means research is on-going.
“On June 15, 2016, he left behind a beautiful wife and son – and losing him was devastating for them. I also miss him a great deal still ”
Gathering his emotions, Dan continued. He said: “We were at school together and had been friends ever since. He has left a big gap in my life. I wanted to do something in his memory and to make a difference to cancer research.”
A keen athlete, Dan, who is married with three children, already had a long list of adventure races and triathlons to his name. He said: “I’ve done a couple of coast to coast races, a half Ironman and more. But I decided I wanted to do a bigger challenge to raise as much money as possible for a cancer charity.
Dan is happy to be back in the race.
“The Cape Wrath Ultra seemed to fit the bill perfectly and I set a target of £25,000. Since the start of this year I have raised £16,000 and that total is still going up. It has been boosted by £6,000 in the last week alone as the race start grew closer. I really can’t believe how many people are supporting my fund raising and the very generous pledges.”
Dan, who is director of a construction company, knew the Cape Wrath Ultra would be a tough endurance race for him. He said: “I had never done such a long multi-day event before and I expected it to be very challenging. It lived up to that and more.
“It has been so tough. But I had Cy at the forefront of my thoughts. He was my motivation in this race. He fought harder than anyone could have fought for the six months of his illness.
“His braveness is what has kept me going through this journey, and if we can raise together as much money as possible, then his death was not in vain.”
Dan was also looking forward to seeing a part of the UK he had never visited before. He said: “I have been blown away by the landscape and scenery in the north-west of Scotland. I had no idea it would be so beautiful. It has been amazing.
“But the landscape made the race so hard, too. I did not imagine how hard it would be to cover the distance on this terrain. Yesterday I was broken but I got up and ran today and I feel amazing.”
If you would like to donate to Dan’s fundraiser see his Just Giving page.