With 31 days and 820km covered, Tranmere Rovers first team staff have taken on the challenge of running 5km each day in October to raise money and awareness for Prostate Cancer UK.
One of them is Wirral-born Mark Cowan, a sport scientist at the club, who has completed his journey and has raised more than £3,000 for his chosen charity.
He said: “Whenever I was struggling physically or when it was pouring down with rain, I just had to remind myself that those who we are running for are suffering far worse than me.”
Mark tackled difficult weather conditions throughout the month but he didn’t let that stop him achieving his goal.
Day 27 – 5K a day ✅️
Closing in on the final few days
Still trying to raise as much as we can at @TranmereRovers to help fight this horrible disease. Inspiring words from @Gidsentinel yesterday highlighting why we do what we are doing. @prostateunited https://t.co/Kjq0G8o3mg pic.twitter.com/4LUjBKJRFX
— Mark Cowan (@Blueboy_1980) October 27, 2023
In the past Mark has worked for Everton Football Club as an academy coach and as a first team coach for Vauxhall Motors.
The University of Chester graduate said that his passion for exercise and running inspired him to take on the challenge.
He said: “We decided to do this challenge together for Prostate United to try and raise as much funds as we could, and we know how much of a difference this money will make to them.
“They get support from all over the UK and I’m so proud to have helped them in any way, shape or form.”
He labelled day 15 as one of the toughest days.
He said: “I did the 12k Ullswater trail race from Howtown to Glenridding, which was the most technical race I’ve ever done. I had great support from friends and family, so they definitely helped me through it.”
— Tranmere Rovers FC (@TranmereRovers) October 19, 2023
Mark tried to run different routes around the Wirral each day during the month.
He added: “I loved the early morning runs as the sun came up, and some days I would bring my dog along so we would both be shattered after those ones.
“There were some days where I could feel my legs giving up towards the end, especially on the last few runs. But I managed to power through it and remember what I was doing it for.”
When asked if he would ever consider doing something like this again, Mark said: “Absolutely. No matter how much it tested me, it was all worth it to help out a charity that is very important to the millions of people who are suffering with prostate cancer.”
Prostate cancer is the second most common type of cancer in men, as there are around 52,300 new cases in the UK every year according to Cancer Research.
The challenge hasn’t put Mark off running. He said he will continue running every day as he ‘thoroughly enjoyed’ pushing himself.
He said: “I’ve always loved running so these 31 days have just reminded me how much good it can do for yourself and others. Now I just want to finish this year on a high.”
Overall, the 31 day challenge for Prostate Cancer UK raised over £500,000 with 775 people taking part and 44 football clubs.
Mark was one of many who helped the charity achieve one of their highest totals ever in a single month.