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Marathon runners selected to run for Bristol's Cancer Research Fund

26 January 2012

Eight Bristol graduates are running the 2012 Virgin London Marathon to raise money for the University's Cancer Research Fund.

Eight Bristol graduates are running the 2012 Virgin London Marathon to raise money for the University's Cancer Research Fund. We were inundated with requests and are very grateful for the passion and enthusiasm our alumni have shown in wanting to raise money for the Cancer Research Fund at Bristol.

If you would like to support our runners, you can make a gift today online. More information about the University's Cancer Fund can be found on our Centenary Campaign pages.

Below are our eight alumni talking about their motivation to run for the University's Cancer Research Fund in the 2012 Virgin London Marathon:

Dr Ben Houlford (BSc 1999)

"I’m running in memory of my Dad, Terry Houlford, who was also a University of Bristol alumnus, who died of cancer last year. I’ve never run a marathon before. My target is simply to complete the course as best I can." 

Chris Milsom (BSc 2001)

"I’ve always wanted to set myself the challenge of running a marathon one day. After a friend of mine was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer last year at just 31, and sadly past away in December, it’ll be an honour to run in his memory whilst raising money. Knowing that the sponsorship I raise is going to such a worthwhile cause to help the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer will help spur me on when the going gets tough on the big day."

Faye Roberts (BA 2006)

"Running for the University of Bristol Cancer Research Fund means a lot to me. I graduated from Bristol in 2006 having studied a degree in History. Soon after finishing University my then boyfriend Ashley sadly passed away due to cancer. He was only 22 and it really made me realise the terrible impact that cancer can have on people’s lives."

Mr Christian Miles (Maths and Computer Science 2008-)

"As a current student, I have worked with the Bristol Telethon for just over three years now, raising money for a range of amazing areas. It’s so good to be able to do more fundraising in support one of these key areas, the Cancer Research Fund."

Jonathan Nicholls (BA 1978)

"For a short time and until very recently Dr Tony Rich was the University’s Registrar (it’s most senior administrator). Tony has had to retire because he has an incurable cancer. Before coming to Bristol, Tony was the Registrar at Essex University. I have known Tony as a friend and professional colleague for nearly 30 years. I am running as a tribute to Tony and in support of the remarkable research that is undertaken at Bristol University to help us beat the kind of cancers that are killing Tony."

Zillah Richards (BSc 1992)

"I recently lost my father and a much younger friend to cancer. As I watched them suffer, without complaining, I was struck by how indiscriminate the illness is and how helpless we remain in so many cases. I want to run the marathon both to honour their bravery in the face of the cruellest of illnesses and to support the vital research into the causes and treatment of cancer made possible by the University of Bristol Cancer Research Fund."

Simon Spiller (BSc 1990)

"In September 2010, at the age of 42, I was diagnosed with malignant melanomas, requiring significant surgery to remove skin and lymph nodes.  After three rounds of surgery, including an extensive “wide area excision” on my torso, I was given the “all clear” in the summer of 2011. Without the kind of research Bristol is embarking on, I might not be alive today. The implications of the alternative for me, my family and friends are unthinkable."

Ms Sarah Garrett  (Cert 2002)

I am very conscious that cancer touches all of us at some time and that there are many great people working tirelessly to find answers to the pain, suffering and loss of life caused by cancer. While I would like to push myself physically it feels more important to try at the same time to raise money for a cause trying to beat cancer. The only other time I ran the London Marathon was in 2004 pre children. It now feels like time to do another marathon. I started my Masters at Bristol University and my step-son is there now studying Biological Sciences so it feels really appropriate and great to be involved with Bristol University, supporting its Cancer Research Fund.