Published: 06:00, 03 September 2021
Kate Baker celebrated her 48th birthday and defied injury by going the extra mile - or 26.2 - and taking part in Prostate Cancer UK’s hugely successful virtual challenge, Run the Month: Marathon Edition, to raise money for the leading men’s health charity and awareness of the disease.
Artist Kate from Deal has so far raised over £1,000 by hitting 26.2 miles in July and helping to beat prostate cancer, which is now the most commonly-diagnosed cancer in the UK.
The money raised will fund vital research into life-saving treatments for prostate cancer and provide practical support to men and their families affected by the disease. She also joined an intrepid team of fundraisers who, since the Covid-19 pandemic began, have raised more than £7.4 million through the charity’s series of virtual events that include running, cycling and walking.
The retired PE teacher was inspired to take part in Prostate Cancer UK’s Run the Month after her dad Fred’s own battle with prostate cancer. Fred was diagnosed with the disease in 2012 and had his prostate removed on Kate’s birthday later that year. Sadly, his cancer would return, and he passed away in July last year when living in France.
An accomplished middle-distance runner who represented her club and the South of England at Home International level, Kate was introduced to the sport at the age of 10 by her dad but had vowed to never take on a marathon due to the rigours of training.
However, she was tempted to change tact after spotting an advert for Prostate Cancer UK’s popular Run the Month event. She could have completed the distance across the month of July but opted to complete the full distance on one day!
She said: “Seeing the advert was the spark for me to know it would be the right thing to celebrate my dad, and choosing my birthday was easy, as that’s when he had his operation all those years ago.
“It gave me a real focus and a chance to celebrate all those other lives too.”
Kate ran more than 47 miles in preparation, but then a knee injury less than a week before her run, threatened to scupper her plans. Instead, she hobbled and walked the 26-mile distance, starting at 6.15am and receiving support from her husband, family and friends along the way.
She added: “When I finished I was tired but elated, and I was blown away by the support too.
“Sadly, I couldn’t run because of my knee injury but I strapped myself up and started by targeting a mile - and went on from there.
“I’m an ex-runner with stubbornness inborn, and that determination comes from my dad. I know he would have been proud of me.”
Nicola Tallett, head of fundraising and supporter engagement at Prostate Cancer UK, said: “We’re incredibly proud that Kate joined our team of remarkable runners in taking on Run the Month: Marathon Edition and raised vital funds for Prostate Cancer UK.
“One man dies every 45 minutes from prostate cancer; it’s now the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the UK, and the Covid-19 pandemic has made living with a diagnosis only harder.
“The Run the Month: Marathon Edition runners, including Kate, have well and truly shown how families, friends and communities can work together, locally and across the UK to help save lives – especially during a difficult time.
“We thank Kate and everyone who is taking part in Run the Month: Marathon Edition - and all of our fundraisers - for their support.”
To sponsor Kate, visit here