Ten years on from the tragic loss of his father to cancer, 28-year-old Nick Rance is gearing up to run his first half marathon, the Vitality Reading Half Marathon, on behalf of Cancer Research UK.

Nick was only 18 when his Dad sadly passed away on 29 July 2007, the day of his 46th birthday. He was about to start University and suffered not only the loss of a parent, but a best friend.

He comments: “When my Dad was diagnosed in 2006, I always believed he would fight it. Everybody thinks their parents are invincible and I vividly remember him coming into my bedroom and telling me he wasn’t going anywhere. Unfortunately, after an 18-month battle and constant rounds of chemotherapy, his cancer had spread and there was nothing more that could be done for him. He spent his final weeks being cared for by Newbury & District Cancer Care Trust in their Rainbow Rooms and, on his birthday, passed away surrounded by his family. He had Secondary Cancer in the fluid of his lungs; the primary cause of his cancer was never found.”

What motivates Nick to keep going through his training regime is the desire to raise money for a charity that is leading the way in the fight for a cure for all cancers. Nick longs for the day when no-one will have to experience such a loss due to cancer.

Nick works for Get Berkshire Active, Reading’s local County Sport Partnership, as a Community Physical Activity Manager, so feels a strong connection with the area and is passionate about an active lifestyle, working with older adults to help them get into sport and physical activity, and tackling social isolation.

“My work also involves meeting people with long term illnesses and cancer, which helped to drive my motivation to run the Reading Half Marathon in memory of Dad. I’ve also heard from many people what an amazing race it is, from the sheer number of people lining the streets to cheer runners on, to the unique stadium finish – a major draw for me.

“Whenever the classic ‘What is your greatest achievement?’ question comes up I have always found it difficult to give a worthy enough answer. I am sure that when I cross that finish line, with over £1,000 raised for Cancer Research UK, it will no doubt be one of the proudest moments of life.”

To sponsor Nick, visit his fundraising page at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Nick-Rance or to find out more about the Vitality Reading Half Marathon visit www.readinghalfmarathon.com