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Leigh is a Tough Mudder for PCRF

Leigh is a Tough Mudder for PCRF

19 November 2012

It was very cold and frosty last Sunday morning (18 November). Not the best weather to take part in the Tough Mudder Cheshire event – styled as ‘Probably the toughest event on the planet’® - but that’s just what Leigh Shaw was doing to raise money for the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund.

A systems engineer from Hebden Bridge, Leigh was taking part in the challenge with his workmates from WH Good. All the team members were raising money for the charities of their choice and Leigh chose PCRF in memory of his close friend Colin Alker who died of pancreatic cancer in 2006.

 Although he’s a keen skier, climber and cyclist, the Tough Mudder event threw up plenty of challenges for Leigh. “By training for this event alone, my running distance has gone from zero to the point where I run six miles two or three times a week and I’ve also had to overcome my childhood fear of water to tackle some of the obstacles that I knew would be in my path,” he says.

 Leigh and Colin had been friends since they were teenagers, going on be housemates and fellow members of Calderdale Climbing Club. Colin was only 36 when he died of pancreatic cancer, leaving a wife and young daughter. “It was a real shock when Colin was diagnosed and died so young – especially as he was so fit and active,” he says. “There have been so many improvements in the treatment of cancer over the past few years that we thought that Colin had a chance. But with pancreatic cancer being so aggressive and with so few treatment options, his chances of survival were very low.”

 Leigh completed the 12-mile, 22-obstacle course in a time of 3 hours 10 minutes: “It was very wet, very muddy and VERY COLD,” he says. He’s also achieved his fundraising target of £1,000, so far raising over £1,200 and counting.

 Says Leigh: “I did the challenge in memory of Colin on the day after what would have been his 43rd birthday. I almost shed a tear when I crossed the line, thinking that Colin would already be across the line having a cup of tea by now. He was smiling on us, laughing with us and getting muddy with us. He would have loved to join in with us – in fact he would have been the instigator of the whole thing!”


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