Gavin gunning for marathon

Gavin gunning for marathon

20 January 2021

CARRYDUFF man Gavin Murray has signed up for this year’s London Marathon and will be running to raise funds for Action Cancer.

The leading charity is delighted with his support and hopes that other running enthusiasts will step forward to join Gavin to raise money for the organisation around the streets of London on October 3.

The London Marathon is one of the six world marathon majors and the route takes in many iconic landmarks, including the Tower of London, Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and Buckingham Palace.

Following the cancellation of the 2020 race due to the coronavirus, Action Cancer is delighted to have been allocated a limited number of places for this year’s event. 

And a fantastic package is available including guaranteed race entry, three nights’ accommodation in a four-star hotel and transfer to the race start.

Participants are required to raise a minimum amount of sponsorship, with Action Cancer providing support and guidance, as well as promotional materials to help runners reach their goal.

Gavin (42) — who is a member of Crossgar Harriers Running Club —  said he had signed up to take part in the 2020 marathon. 

“I had already started my fundraising and thankfully I was able to transfer my place to this year,” he explained.

“I started running about four years ago when I took part in the Belfast Marathon to raise money for a stillbirth charity. A friend suggested I join his running club, Crossgar Harriers, to help me train. 

“I really enjoyed the whole experience and found running a great way to keep fit and four years on I’m still a member of the club.

“Before the pandemic hit, I completed a total of eight marathons including Berlin, Amsterdam and Dublin.”

Gavin says he has chosen to support Action Cancer after seeing various friends and family affected by cancer over the years.

“I wanted to do something to support local people,” he said. “The team at Action Cancer organise the race entry and accommodation. All I had to do was focus on training and raising a few quid which wasn’t hard.

“People are very generous when it comes to raising money for cancer as it is a cause close to so many people’s hearts. Once restrictions lift, I’ll do a bit more.”

With the London event due to take place last April, Gavin said he was well into his training and running about 20 miles a week when the plug was pulled.

“I kept running through the first lockdown putting my once-a-day exercise to good use. I still train three times a week and having the marathon to look forward to in October is good motivation to keep going, as well as keeping me physically fit and mentally healthy.”

Gavin is encouraging anyone wanting to achieve something in 2021 to sign up to the London Marathon with Action Cancer. 

He added: “There is plenty of time to train between now and October. Action Cancer will help you with the fundraising and you will be saving lives. It’s a no brainer.”

Action Cancer community fundraising manger Leigh Osborne said that after months of cancelled events, the charity was delighted to offer an opportunity to participate in one of the world’s most popular marathons. 

“We hope to raise in excess of £15,000 which would allow us to provide 125 women with breast screening appointments, or 370 counselling appointments for individuals or families affected by cancer,” she explained.

“Every runner who signs up will receive support from our dedicated fundraising team to help reach their fundraising target. We have always received generous support from the general public and local business community. Thanks to them we have been able to continue to provide our life saving and support services throughout this current crisis.”

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, Action Cancer has adapted its services so that they can be delivered safely face-to-face with the use of PPE and stringent sanitising measures, in line with government guidelines, or have been moved to a virtual delivery format. 

Having to close its doors in March 2020 due to the pandemic, Action Cancer recommenced its breast cancer screening programme in mid-August for women aged 40-49 and over 70 who are outside of NHS screening age range, and has since screened over 2,000 women.

Therapeutic services and health promotion departments became operational in October with the staff team moving many services, which were previously delivered face-to-face, to online or over the phone delivery. 

Action Cancer is encouraging members of the public to avail of the support which is currently on offer at Action Cancer House in Belfast or online/via telephone. Visit or call 028 9080 3344.

For more information on how to sign up to Action Cancer’s London Marathon Team, get in touch on or call Community & Public Fundraising Manager, Leigh Osborne on 07928 668543. The closing date for entries is February 26.