A VICAR from Milford Haven will be praying for cool weather when he runs his 18th marathon next month, to raise money for Prostate Cancer UK.
Seventy-eight-year-old Michael Ryall hopes to raise £2,000 for the charity by taking part in his seventh Virgin Money London Marathon.
Diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2001, Rev Ryall successfully underwent treatment and was given a clean bill of health. But he counts himself as “one of the lucky ones”, having lost several close friends to the disease.
Rev Ryall now wants to help raise awareness of the disease, which kills around 11,000 men in the UK every year.
He says it is vital that men over 40 get checked out straight away if they experience any symptoms.
“There was no cancer in my family,” he said. “If you’re worried, see a doctor – it saved my life and it could save others.”
The former army chaplain has run all over the world but after a break of 15 years – and having suffered a mini-stroke in 2010 - is making sure he trains carefully for his next challenge.
At the moment he is running five or six miles every day, with a 16-mile run once a week.
“The drudge of training is hard work, you’re on your own for hours, but it will be worth it. The satisfaction of crossing the finish line is tremendous,” he said, adding that he hopes the weather will ‘won’t be too hot’ on the day.
Rev Ryall has no target time in mind, but says he is determined to finish and raise much-needed cash for a “very worthwhile charity”.
“You’ve got to get there. I don’t want to ring people up afterwards and have to give their money back,” he said.
“I’ll do it, I know I will.”
To donate to Rev Ryall’s total, visit virginmoneygiving.com and search Michael Ryall.