Pure's Mark Wishart is training to run the Milton Keynes Marathon to help raise funds for Delays star, and close friend, Greg Gilbert to receive cancer treatment abroad.
Mark, a senior recruitment consultant based at our Cambridge office, will be taking part in the race on Monday 1 May. It will be his first full marathon in 18 years and Mark will be running to raise funds for his friend Greg Gilbert, better known to many as a member of the indie band Delays. Greg, the singer and guitarist in the band which had four acclaimed albums, was recently diagnosed with stage 4 bowl cancer, which has also spread to his lungs. A national campaign has been launched to help raise the funds needed for the 39-year-old to go abroad for potentially life-saving treatment not currently available on the NHS.
Mark said: “I’ve known Greg for sixteen years and he is an incredibly talented guy. I first met him when the Delays were just starting out and having spent some of the best times I can remember with the band, the news of Greg’s illness was a huge shock. He has two young girls and having two children myself this really resonated with me. Having completed a half marathon last year, I was already planning on doing a full marathon in aid of a good cause. The fact that Greg’s fundraising campaign is especially close to my heart will give me the added incentive to keep up with the training and to complete the course on the day. There has already been lots of fundraising across the UK which is not just helping Greg but raising awareness overall. The support for him has been unbelievable and this is my way of adding to it.”
Other fundraising for Greg’s campaign includes a benefit gig held in his home town of Southampton which raised £25k on the night. A music memorabilia auction is also being planned which has been supported with donations from big names including Coldplay. The overall fundraising target is £250k and to date more than £160k has been raised.
For Mark, his last full marathon was in London in 1999. Despite recovering from an injury, he completed the Brutal Midnight Half Marathon in aid of Delete Blood Cancer UK last year. He is now training heavily, including running as part of the Huntingdonshire Athletics Running Club and completing several local races such as the Cambridge half marathon.
Mark added: “I was initially looking to raise £500 but I’m delighted to say that I reached that figure within the first week of setting up the fundraising page. Because so many people know Greg I was receiving donations from people I haven’t met, alongside messages which all say just how much of a great guy he is. I just want to raise as much as I possibly can to play my part in helping him to get this potentially life-saving treatment.”
To sponsor Mark, visit his Just Giving page at: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/Marathon4Greg