Wes’s 40-event fundraising challenge

To say thank you for the care his son received at The Royal Marsden, Wes took on an awe-inspiring challenge and so-far has raised over £17,000 for The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity.

Supporter Wes set himself the incredible goal of completing 40 events during his 40th year – starting and finishing with the TCS London Marathon – and a target of raising £40,000 for The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity.

A man running a marathon, wearing a Royal Marsden Cancer Charity running vest and putting his thumbs up
Wes kicking-off his challenge by running the London Marathon in 2023

Huey’s “incredible” care at The Royal Marsden 

Wes’s motivation has been to thank The Royal Marsden for the care his son Huey received after he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in 2017, when he was just 15 months old. Huey was treated with chemotherapy in the Oak Centre for Children and Young People for nearly four years and has been in remission for more than three years.  

“Huey is now eight and is doing really well,” says Wes, a GP from Crowborough. “He’s just the sweetest, most empathetic little boy. It feels like the right time to give something back and to say thank you. All the doctors and nurses took such incredible care of Huey.” 

“It was tough to go through as a family, and being so well looked after by The Royal Marsden made such a difference. My wife Sarah and I are so grateful.” 

Wes’s challenge counter:  

  • 18 runs – starting and ending with the TCS London Marathon! 
  • 10 cycle rides – in May 2023 alone he took on three iconic races: the Surrey Hills classic, RideLondon and the Hampshire Hilly Hundred. 
  • 6 swims – Wes had never completed a competitive swim before this challenge! 
  • 5 triathlons – one of the toughest athletic competitions, involving three events. Wes completed the full distance Ironman UK which involced swimming, cycling and running. 
  • 2 duathlons – Wes took on the the Dorney Lake Duathlon and the Gravesend Cyclopark Duathlon. 
Wes on a bike, cycling down a country road

Starting his challenge 

Wes began his challenge by running the London Marathon in April 2023, a few weeks after his 40th birthday: "I’d run four marathons before, but that was pre-children and not for about 10 years,” he says. “I was able to build up my training to the London Marathon and tapered perfectly to run it, but what I hadn’t quite factored in was the recovery times.” 

“The actual challenges themselves haven’t necessarily been the difficult bit. That has been trying to recover enough to do the next event while still training. Relentless is probably the best way to describe it!” 

Family matters

Wes and his two children in Royal Marsden Cancer Charity-branded shirts. The kids are doing superman poses and his son his holding Wes's medal
Wes celebrating with his family after completing the Addidas Terrex 24km

Wes’s family – Sarah, Huey, daughter Imogen and stepdaughter Izzy – has travelled all over the country to support him as he’s completed challenges, such as the Swashbuckler Triathlon in Hampshire, the Surrey Tour 100-mile bike ride and the full Ironman UK in Bolton. 

“I’ve been exhausted at times, but I’m very lucky to have an extremely supportive family – children included – who have all been great,” he says. “I’ve had to do two events some weekends to make sure I get to my target of 40, so it’s been really full-on.” 

"An amazing year” 

Learning to swim properly has also been a learning curve for Wes: “I could swim but had never swum competitively before, and swimming in the sea is also a whole different experience – my first one was pretty choppy but ace,” he says.

A man in a wetsuit, swimming cap and goggles on a pebbled beach giving a thumbs-up
Wes taking on a swimming challenge

“I think the easiest one was a 1.5km swim, but that was a sea swim. The Ironman was the hardest, but also a highlight.” 

“I'm only just starting to realise how ambitious 40 events in a year was and can now say with pride I smashed it! I definitely have some lifelong memories along the way – crossing the line at the five marathons, the full distance Ironman and 100km ultra marathon, but it was the smiles on my children's faces after each event that I'll remember the most.”

Feeling inspired?

A MASSIVE thank you to Wes for his incredible support for The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity.  

Are you interested in taking on a fitness challenge and raising money for us? From sponsored runs and bike rides to obstacle courses and abseiling, you can find an event that suits you

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