A Yorkshire businessman is preparing to sprint out of the blocks on a 127-mile fundraising run from Leeds to Liverpool over three days.
Richard Powell, a business manager with executive search firm Hartmann Young in Leeds, will begin his journey from Liverpool on Friday 1 April and run the gruelling canal route over three days, arriving in Leeds on Sunday 3 April.
Richard is running to raise funds for the Follicular Lymphoma Foundation after his friend, athlete Andrew McAslan, was diagnosed with stage four follicular lymphoma, a rare and currently untreatable cancer. Andrew, who is now in remission after undergoing six rounds of chemotherapy, will cycle beside Richard for the duration of the route.
Andrew, 25, who lives in Yeadon but originally comes from Manchester, first met Richard after they trained together at Leeds Beckett University. Middle distance athlete Andrew won 800m bronze in the British Universities Championships in 2019 and had high hopes of progressing to international level.
Athletics talent runs in Andrew’s family as sister, Kirsten, is a British international 400m and 400m hurdler. His partner is fellow senior international athlete, Leah Barrow, silver medalist at the British Senior Championships over 800m.
Richard Powell said: “I’m currently busy training ahead of the Leeds-Liverpool canal run, which I aim to complete over three days, arriving back in Leeds on Sunday 3 April.
“Andrew and I trained together during our university days at Leeds Beckett and have remained great friends since. Although Andrew is bravely fighting cancer and is now in remission, he has it at stage four at the age of 25, so unless a cure is found, the treatment options will eventually run out.
“I’m doing this to try and raise money for much-needed research to find a cure that will hopefully help Andrew. I’m looking forward to the challenge and doing it with Andrew, who will ride at my side on a bike.”
The registered charity Richard is running for, the Follicular Lymphoma Foundation, was founded by Nicola Mendelsohn, a top executive at Facebook who was diagnosed with follicular lymphoma in 2017. The Foundation was founded with the goal of funding research, raising awareness, helping patients establish support networks and ultimately finding a cure.