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GP plans 200-mile fundraising trip down memory lane

23 September 2011

A fundraising GP is planning a Forrest Gump-style run around the UK, visiting the towns and cities where he grew up, studied, and worked.

A fundraising GP is planning a Forrest Gump-style run around the UK, visiting the towns and cities where he grew up, studied, and worked. On 26 September he will be setting out from Lincoln County Hospital to run 200 miles through seven counties.

But while Gump said he ran “for no particular reason”, Reid Baker will be running to raise over £2,000 for the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund (PCRF), and in memory of his dad who died from the disease five years ago.

“It’s years since dad died but, being like him, I really feel I haven’t ever expressed how I feel about it,” says Reid. “My 30th birthday is coming up in September and I wanted to do something significant and challenging. I ran the Edinburgh Marathon for PCRF in 2008 and, given my dad’s illness, it makes sense to try to raise some money while I ruin my knees!”

Lincoln County Hospital itself, is one of the most significant locations on the run. Reid will be based at the hospital for the next 12 months, but he was also a student there in the summer of 2005, when his dad, Bob Baker, was first diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Reid’s daughter is due to be born at the hospital by the time he starts the run.

From the hospital, Reid will run through Lincoln to reach Worksop, Dinnington and North Anston on the first day of the run, before heading off to Nottingham, Leicester, Kettering and Peterborough, and finishing five days later in Newark-on-Trent.

“Many of these places hold some really great memories,” says Reid.  “My dad used to be in the RAF and was a real tough cookie. He was the strong silent type, who always wanted the best for us and we really respected him. He was fearless and inspirational and that’s how I remember him.”

Reid plans to be running down Steep Hill and High Street in Lincoln At around 9am on 26 September.

“I’ll be wearing a PCRF t-shirt, and will have just started out,” he says. “If you see me, give me a shout, or honk your horn. Even better, send me a text donation. All you have to do is Text ABSR86 to 70070 and the amount to donate." 

Other places Reid will be visiting along the route, such as Peterborough, where he was living when his dad died, have less positive associations.

“I really struggled during that time, and have few good memories,” he recalls. “But although I haven’t been back there since, it’s a significant place and I feel I need to see it as part of my journey.”

On the last day of his run, Reid will arrive in Newark on Trent, where he has lived for the past three years and where he got married to his wife, Caroline, who will be supporting him during the run.

 “I plan to finish the run, and then celebrate my 30th birthday,” he says. “Always assuming I have enough energy and my joints aren’t aching too much!”

“This run will be a great physical and mental challenge for me,” says Reid. “As well as testing my fitness, it’s an opportunity to use the miles to visit all the significant markers in my life, to remind me of some great times and discard some of the bad memories.

“I might be mad to do it, but challenges are supposed to be tough and this is something I need to do. Supporting and representing PCRF is an important part of the adventure.”

If you’d like to contribute to Reid’s fundraising you can also go to http://www.justgiving.com/TwoHundredMiles-30YearsInTheMaking

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