A COUPLE who have faced their fair share of hurdles took on the ultimate challenge at the weekend by teaming up to run the London Marathon.
Chris and Katie McGinley (both 43) took on one of the UK’s biggest sporting challenges together, after they both lost both of their dads to cancer.
The couple, who have a three year old son, Teddy, said that together they hoped to raise as much money as possible for life-saving research to help more dads survive cancer in the future.
Former gym bunny Katie and experienced cyclist Chris pounded the pavement in the lead-up to the big race before finally putting their best feet forward in the capital on Sunday for their first ever marathon, in which they crossed the line together after just over five-and-a-half hours.
Chris, who runs haulage company Stanton Logistics, in Thurnscoe, said their chosen charity Cancer Research UK — for which they have raised more than £2,500 in sponsorship — was close to the couple’s hearts.
“I lost my dad Peter to cancer in 2014 and Katie lost her dad Duncan less than a year later,” he said.
“Katie's mum Sylvia also died of cancer in 2004.
“My dad Peter worked with me at our family business . One day he felt tired and left work early to see his doctor.
“But he ended up in hospital and within a few days was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
“He died six weeks later, which was a shock to us all.
“Sometimes I still forget that he's gone and I go to look for him at work. Then I remember he's gone, and it hits me all over again.”
For Katie, it was hard seeing her husband go through losing his dad but she had her own heartache to contend with when her own father Duncan was diagnosed with gall bladder cancer and died just three weeks later.
“He was only 65,” said the mum, who lives in Doncaster.
“It all happened so quickly, we didn't get chance to plan anything, not even to say goodbye.”
Chris himself suffered health problems and had to take six months of work with myocarditis, a disease which causes inflammation of the heart muscle.
“Last year, I decided to slow down at work and started to spend more time keeping fit,” he said.
“I started running for the first time and really enjoyed it.”
Katie, a clinical psychologist, added: “I have always exercised and was a real gym bunny till I became pregnant with Teddy. I am now a full-time mum and got back into the gym last January. I started running and it has become more of a way of life for me now.
“We need to stay fit and healthy for Teddy. I've already lost my grandmother, aunts and uncles and my mum and dad to cancer. My family seems to diminish in size every year due to this vicious and merciless disease.
“Chris and I don't want our son to be orphaned because of cancer.
“We both want to be there for him, safe and well, for as long as we possibly can.”
To sponsor Chris and Katie, visit: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Chris-and-Katie
See Friday's Advertiser for a full round-up of our runners who laced up their running shoes in the capital.