Nigel Watson has raised over £3,100 for BPC after running 13 marathons and 9 half marathons since April. He wants to inspire men to have a PSA test and stay positive.

After his treatment at the Birmingham Prostate Clinic, Nigel Watson launched a personal ‘Beat Prostate Cancer’ series of fund-raising runs.

He planned to start running marathons again just six months after his own prostate cancer operation in October 2019. What he couldn’t have anticipated was that none of these events would take place because of Covid-19. The first event he was due to race in was the Manchester Marathon, on April 5.

“I was disappointed, of course,” says Nigel, who was 64 in May as  “Every single event I planned to do was cancelled, for understandable reasons”.

“So I picked myself up, got out onto the local roads and started running again anyway. It’s certainly harder to keep going along a quiet lane on a Sunday morning, compared with the big event with crowds cheering you on. But I had a deep personal motivation.”

Running some of the Half Marathons with a friend in a safe, socially distanced way, Nigel has clocked up 13 full marathons and nine half marathons, culminating in running the length of Hadrian’s Wall in a single day, a distance of 70 miles from Carlisle to Newcastle. He completed this final run less than a year after his own surgery.

“I knew it was going to be tough, so I broke it down into units of ten miles. I ran each of the first 4 sets of 10 miles for my two boys and their partners, the fifth was for my wife, the sixth for a friend who has just been diagnosed with Brain Cancer, and the final ten miles for a friend who died suddenly of a heart attack in 2016. At that stage, it was pitch black but I drew strength from visualising him running alongside me.

“My friend who ran with me on Hadrian’s Wall had just lost his father-in-law to Covid so we both had very strong personal motivation.”

They completed the 70.3 miles run in 16 hours, 46 minutes. Nigel always wears his ‘trademark’ one pink sock and one blue sock when he runs, to signify breast and prostate cancer which he says draws attention and allows him to raise awareness.

“If through my activities I can encourage one man to take a PSA test, or to start exercising after cancer treatment, I’ll be happy. You don’t have to run hundreds of miles. It is just about doing whatever you can do because there is life after prostate cancer and staying fit and healthy is very important in overcoming this disease.   Actually, on the run someone stopped me at the roadside and sponsored me following which I asked him for one more commitment, to arrange a PSA test.  I have since heard back from his wife who was pleased to report he was ok and thanked me for bringing it to their attention”

Read Nigel’s original account of having prostate cancer treatment and his motivation for his person ‘Beat Prostate Cancer’ campaign here.