Stevenage dad reinvents the wheel with unique 2.6 Challenge for Pancreatic Cancer UK

Dad-of-two Gavin Davies was wheeling his two sons around town. Picture: Pancreatic Cancer UK

Dad-of-two Gavin Davies was wheeling his two sons around town. Picture: Pancreatic Cancer UK - Credit: Archant

A Stevenage dad has turned to an unlikely source for his unique 2.6 Challenge in aid of Pancreatic Cancer UK – the (t)rusty wheelbarrow.

Dad-of-two Gavin Davies had been due to take part in the London Marathon on April 26 – a date which coincided with the sixth anniversary of his father-in-law surviving pancreatic cancer.

However, after the event was cancelled due to COVID-19, organisers launched the 2.6 Challenge and urged fundraisers to engage in any form of physical exercise involving the numbers two and six.

Gavin, not enamoured by the conventional, decided to dust off his wheelbarrow and enlist his sons William and Edward as passengers – setting off on a Wacky Races-style 2.6 mile run around the town.

“It was much harder than I thought,” Gavin said. “It’s not the newest barrow, I should have oiled it first and I wish I’d planned the route before setting off.

“My wife and I had been planning to take the kids to see the marathon as we think it’s really important for them to see me and other people doing exercise, but there was no way they were going to manage 2.6 miles. The wheelbarrow seemed like a good idea at the time. The kids were loving it, but it was absolutely baking hot.”

Gavin has raised over £1,200 for Pancreatic Cancer UK, and plans to be part of the charity’s team for the rescheduled London Marathon, which is now due to take place on October 4.

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“I’m not going though cancer treatment or having my treatment delayed by the virus and going through the emotional impact of that. So many people are right now, and I want to help them – whether that’s by doing a 2.6 challenge or the marathon. Whenever the marathon happens next, I’ll be on the starting line.”

Pancreatic cancer patients already face low odds of survival – less than seven per cent of patients live for five years – but the global pandemic means that patients now face an even more uncertain time.

Pancreatic Cancer UK runs the only dedicated support line for people affected by the disease.

Hannah Hamilton-Skerritt, senior events fundraising manager for Pancreatic Cancer UK, said: “We’re so grateful to Gavin – and to his boys for cheering him on all the way. Pancreatic cancer doesn’t stop because of the pandemic and many people across the UK will still receive a devastating diagnosis.”