A DUFFIELD man has run more than 800 miles to Switzerland in just 30 days to help raise money for research into breast cancer.
Gerard Varin ran the equivalent of a marathon each day throughout April to raise more than £22,000 for charity Breast Cancer Campaign in support of women who have been affected by the disease.
The 47-year-old knows of at least nine ladies who have suffered from breast cancer in Duffield - which has a population of 5,000 - including close friend Tracey Williams, who was diagnosed last year. The father-of-four also lost both of his parents to cancer before they reached the age of 60.
Gerard said: “It’s hard to believe that after 30 days of running I’ve finally finished. There were times I thought I couldn’t run another day, but I’ve received tremendous support both at home and from people I met along the way which kept me going, especially at the lowest times.
“I’m glad to have raised all this money for Breast Cancer Campaign but am really looking forward to having a few days to put my feet up and relax!”
Angela Adams, Community Fundraising Manager at Breast Cancer Campaign, said: “Gerard is a huge inspiration for taking on a challenge of this scale and it takes an extraordinary person. He has been so determined all the way through and we can’t thank him enough for persevering and raising thousands of pounds to help us fund vital research.”
Gerard spent most of his journey running alone, but was joined at times by family, friends and people who wanted to show support. The Round Table, a community club with groups worldwide, also helped by providing free overnight accommodation, hot showers and food, and physiotherapists volunteered to be on call along the route when he needed them.
Gerard, who moved to the UK from Switzerland to be with his wife Helen 20 years ago, left his home on April 1 and completed his run last Tuesday, May 1, in Seleute, the village in North West Switzerland where he was born. He was met by family, friends and supporters at the finish line before spending a few days in Switzerland and returning to England on Friday May 4. To donate visit justgiving.com/Gerard-Varin