Paula Masters and Kevin Comley have been doing something a little extraordinary throughout January; they have both been embarking upon a series of fundraising runs to help raise awareness for Prostate Cancer. Both Paula and Kevin sat down with the communications team to talk about how and why they decided to take this challenge on.

Why did you take on this challenge?

Paula: I took this challenge on for several reasons; last year during the first lockdown I started the Couch to 5k as my allowed “30 minutes” of exercise per day, to aid both my physical and mental wellbeing. I think continued on running all year as a result and completed a virtual 10k a week charity event, for 4 weeks on behalf of the RBLI which was centred around Remembrance Day.

After Christmas, I needed to regain some (quite a lot!) of motivation and found this virtual charity event for Prostate Cancer UK. Prostate Cancer has touched the team here at Hedge End, with our Shift Manager being diagnosed with this disease a couple of years ago. He has undergone treatment and is having to deal with the awful side effects, but is hopeful he can return back to work at some stage this year. My Dad has also fought Prostate Cancer, like so many other men.

Paula asked me if I would run 26 miles in 26 days for Prostate Cancer UK, primarily for a work colleague who is going through treatment for this type of Cancer. I also had a biopsy for this a couple of years ago and undergo regular check-ups, which was very scary at the time!

Who has been involved?

Paula/Kevin: Myself and Kev did the physical running with support from our team members. We both had t-shirts displaying Prostate Cancer UK that we wore each time we went for a run to promote awareness for this disease.

How many runs/distance are/were you aiming for?

Paula: I was aiming for 7 miles a week for 4 weeks to complete the marathon, but unfortunately injury stopped me for 10 days so I had to make up for the lost time in the last 2 weeks!

Kevin: I was aiming for 1 mile a day to complete the challenge.

How have you both found it?

Paula: I found it very hard to be honest, mainly due to the dreadful weather! We have had freezing temperatures, bitter wind, rain, and snow! It wasn’t pleasant.

Kevin: I am quite fit for my age (61), so running is not a problem for me.

Did you have to do much training?

Paula: I didn’t need any physical training, but did have to overcome the mental demons to get out in the weather and do it! After all, it is just putting one foot in front of the other.

Kevin: No, I use to run for Hampshire back in my youth and still have those running attributes. Plus walking the dog helps with my fitness.

What total were you aiming for?

Paula: My original aim was £50, then I raised it £150.

Kevin: As much money as we could raise.

What’s the current fundraising total?

Paula: Currently the total is £895, and there are still a couple donations to be added.

How/where can people donate?

Paula: All denotations are welcomed! The page is open until March.

Every year Prostate Cancer kills 10,000 men in the UK. After lung cancer, it kills more men than any other Cancer – it is as big an issue for men as Breast Cancer is for women. Despite this, most men are unaware of the disease. – Source – Prostate Cancer UK.


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