TENS of thousands of runners and amateur athletes took part in the 32nd London Marathon today - amongst them many South Yorkshire folk running up cash for charity.
Battling Sheffield man Mark McKone has twice recovered from testicular cancer.
He put his body through the mill by taking on the unique challenge in the capital today, wearing an equally-unique costume.
The 34-year-old from Hillsboroug, dressed up as wrestler Hulk Hogan for the 26.2-mile race and even grew a handlebar moustache which he bleached blond.
“I’m doing this to prove that I haven’t been broken by what I’ve gone through,” said Mark, who works in IT for a law firm.
“I was diagnosed with testicular cancer when I was 21.
“That was sorted, but four years later I was diagnosed again, and it was totally unrelated.”
Mark was given the all-clear when he was 29 and started fundraising for male cancer charity, Orchid.
Also running was teacher Stephen Smith, 48, from South Anston, Rotherham, who is raising money for international children’s charity Unicef.
Next he plans to take on the Coast to Coast cycle challenge and Great North Swim on Windermere in June, in what he has labelled a Summer of Madness, with the aim of raising £1,500.
Sisters Hayley Brown, 37 and Joanne Emsen, 33, wre also planning to take part in the marathon, which set off from Greenwich Park at 9am.
“The training has been going well,” said Hayley, from Kilamarsh, who is raising money for children’s respite centre Amy’s House and runaway children’s charity Safe@Last.
Her sister Joanne, from Halfway, is raising funds for Leukaemia Care.
Optometrist Craig Farquhar, of Vision Express in Chesterfield, is hoping to raise more than £1,500 for the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust.
Retired Doncaster policeman Fred Tomlinson was taking part in the race on for the 20th time.
The 61-year-old from Hatfield today dressed as the television character Bungle, from the former children’s television show Rainbow, to raise money for the Rainbow Trust, which works with terminally ill children.
He lost his daughter Claire to a rare form of cancer when she was 15.
Hairdresser Melissa Turner, aged 29, who lives in Epworth, was running her first marathon, for the Doncaster Cancer Detection Trust, which funds the borough’s St John’s Hospice.
Melissa works at Mr Tony’s, on Bennetthorpe, Doncaster.
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