Ex-postie and leukaemia survivor on marathon mission for charity
A FORMER Thornbury postman is planning to walk round roads in the area, to raise money for a cancer charity.
Raymond Daniels is set to take on a virtual marathon from his home in Lower Almondsbury on October 3 - the day of the London Marathon - to support Leukaemia Care, in recognition of his own recovery from the disease.
Raymond, who is 70, was a postman for 27 years before he was diagnosed and forced into early retirement aged just 51.
Now he wants to give something back and help others, and has mapped out a 13-mile route from his home, which he will complete twice.
He said: "I had a bone marrow transplant in September 2001 and was in and out of Southmead Hospital and the BRI every day for more or less eight months.
"It took a long time to recover but - touch wood - everything is back to normal now.
Raymond, a former member of Thornbury Running Club, had run the London Marathon in April 1999, just before he was diagnosed. His first was in 1984 and took 3 hours 27 minutes.
He said: "I have done London four or five times, the Bristol Marathon twice and also Kingswood, plus half marathons and ten mile runs in between.”
Raymond has not been able to run seriously since his illness but is determined to complete the distance again - this time at a slower pace.
He said: "I’m not actually going to try and run this but walk as fast as I can. The charity have given us 24 hours to complete the distance."
Thousands of runners around the country will be attempting the virtual marathon, which runs in parallel with the event in London, and break last year's record of 37,000 competitors set during the pandemic.
Raymond is planning to tackle his course on his own and admits his experience as a postie will help him cope with the solitude.
To support him visit his online fundraising page at justgiving.com/fundraising/Raymond-Daniels.