Flintshire man’s marathon challenge to honour brave friend

A Flintshire man is preparing for a gruelling charity challenge to honour a brave friend.

Stephen Owen from Ewloe, is taking on a remarkable ten marathons in ten days in aid of two local hospices.

The challenge was planned after his good friend Gavin Jones was diagnosed last year with inoperable cancer and who recently passed away at Nightingale House Hospice.

Mr Owen and friends decided to raise money for Nightingale House Hospice, Wrexham and the Hospice of The Good Shepherd.

The group has become aware how important the hospices are to patients, their families and friends who want to see their loved ones cared for, supported and looked after in their final months and days.

Mr Owen will start the challenge of running 262 miles in ten days on April 17.

Starting in Hawarden, over nine days he will start running the marathon distance of 26.2 miles a day to South Wales and then across to London.

On April 26 on the tenth and final day he will run the London Marathon.

Mr Owen said: “People keep asking me what has inspired me to take on the challenge of running ten marathons in ten days.

“It was heart-breaking when Gavin was diagnosed with terminal cancer and it’s at times like these that you reflect on the past and look into the future.

“You realise how blessed you have been and how not to take life for granted as it can be very cruel at times.

“My friend Gavin and another close friend of mine whose father, Kearton Davies, was taken from his friends and loved ones within weeks because of cancer, have both told me what an amazing and caring place Nightingale House is.

“So it got me to thinking how important places like Nightingale House, and Hospice of the Good Shepherd are, not only to the patients but to all the family and friends who are impacted by the cruel situation cancer has put upon them, along with all the other life-limiting diseases that people are dealing with.

“In one way or another many of us may, at some point, need places like these.

“Whether it’s for ourselves or someone we are close to, it’s a great comfort knowing that hospices, which are very much self-funded and rely on volunteers, provide this amazing care for everyone in our communities.

“Patients and their loved ones know they are in safe hands and in the best place in their last days, weeks or months.”

Mr Owen has already raised more than £10,000 in sponsorship in the lead up to his challenge and has several other events planned including a Golf Day at Hawarden Golf Course on March 29, a Superhero Fancy Dress walk up Moel Famau on April 12 and a band and auction night on May 30 at Ewloe Social Cub.

Bethan Scott, challenge events co-ordinator at Nightingale House Hospice, said: “What Stephen is planning with this challenge is just incredible.

“We are delighted he will be finishing his first marathon at Nightingale House and then starting his second from here too.

“Our staff will be waiting to cheer him on.

“We are overwhelmed by the generosity of everyone who has supported Stephen to date – thank you.”