Dad-of-two Ric Clark, 33, from Penwortham, told the Evening Post how he discovered he was battling cancer while training for a triathlon. Now after gruelling treatment that included an operation to remove his stomach, he is starting training again, this time for a 190-mile coast-to-coast charity run
I don’t mind admitting that last week was probably my worst week in terms of my recovery. Not only was it four weeks since my operation but I had conjunctivitis and cold sores. All this made me very grumpy. I also lost my appetite so there was a serious lack of energy.
This all started to turn around on Thursday as I has planned to drive to Bolton, unfortunately I wasn’t able to because of the conjunctivitis.
The reason I was going to Bolton was to pick up the numbers for my two children to take part in the IronKids race on the Saturday.
The boys both took part last year and really enjoyed it, this year would be no different, even if it did rain and we all got wet. But I am so proud of my two boys for doing it and running as best as they could, they both did fantastically well.
It makes me think back to how all this began, it was September last year and my first attempt at a triathlon.
I am not a confident swimmer, but thought I just need to get through the swim and my cycling and running would bring me back.
It didn’t work that way and I was pulled out of the water unconscious and with hypothermia.
It was soon after that that my coeliac symptoms began to show themselves, and from there the tumour in my stomach was found in the diagnosis of the coeliac disease. So although I felt pretty gutted after the triathlon, it was a blessing in disguise.
With Oscar and Sidney running the IronKids race, it spurs me on to recover and look at what else I could achieve.
A couple of years ago we ran 32 miles from Salford to Fulwood, non-stop.
It took us a little over five hours and we raised in excess of £2,000 for Children in Need.
Now are plans are to run even further, running coast to coast (190 miles) over three days. We are still in the planning stages but I am determined to complete the challenge, and have a team of people around me to help, not to mention my long distance running partner, Ian Jones.
At this point I would like to ask if there is anyone who can help to come forward and let us know (contact me via the blog at ultracancer.blogspot.co.uk). As I said we are still planning this and need as much help as possible. We aim to complete the run next year and will be running to raise funds for Rosemere Cancer Foundation.
With this in mind I have got my bike out and cleaned it up and done a bit of maintenance, I even had a five-minute ride on my turbo trainer.
After that I needed to sit down. Hopefully soon I can begin my training for the Coast to Coast event. I feel almost ready, but at the same time, know I still need to take it easy.
I won’t be running a marathon this year and will take it slow and steady getting back to fitness. Watching the Tour de France and with the Commonwealth Games, I am eager to get out and about, but all this will come in time.