Runner makes his mark in the North Pole

PUBLISHED: 13:03 06 April 2006 | UPDATED: 11:39 04 May 2010

MARK Howe is about to take the first steps on the challenge of a life-time - running 26.2 miles across the roof of the world when he tackles the North Pole Marathon. Months of gruelling training and hundreds of miles of running will be put to the test whe

MARK Howe is about to take the first steps on the challenge of a life-time - running 26.2 miles across the roof of the world when he tackles the North Pole Marathon.

Months of gruelling training and hundreds of miles of running will be put to the test when Mark, who is a senior manager with Cambridgeshire County Council's Office of Environment and Community Services, competes in the race tomorrow (Saturday).

A field of around 50 adventure athletes from around the globe will assemble for the event, making it the biggest polar race in history. Mark, who is from Ely, will be running the marathon to raise money for the Cambridge Cancer Help Centre.

The Cambridge Cancer Help Centre is a charity based in Cambridge. The centre provides help and support to people who have, or have had, cancer and their carers and families

Over the next three years the centre hopes to raise £500,000 to buy and equip a house as its new centre of operations. Currently the facility is based in a terraced house off Mill Road, Cambridge.

Mark's wife has suffered with breast cancer and he recently lost his brother James to the disease at the age of 45. Mark is a Cancer Help Centre Trustee.

He said: "The Cambridge Cancer Centre is support by a brilliant team of people and I hope that my taking part in this event will be a major kick start to the fund-raising campaign designed to secure them a permanent home where they can continue their very important work."

Mark left for Spitsbergen on Wednesday, before travelling and setting up camp close to the North Pole the following day and then, weather permitting, tackling the marathon on Saturday

A keen runner, Mark has already successfully completed two London Marathons and the Lochness Marathon, but acknowledges that running on ice and snow in the freezing temperatures of the North Pole will be a significant step up for him.

He added: "The challenges of running the North Pole Marathon will be huge, but that challenge pales into insignificance when you compare it to the challenges faced everyday by people with cancer."

For more information on the race go to: www.npmarathon.com. To contact/sponsor Mark Howe, telephone (01223) 717314 or mobile 07780 957282.

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