Ipswich club steps in to complete 50 half-marathon tribute challenge

When a mini-stroke postponed the challenge, Ipswich JAFFA stepped in to finish it

Adrian Peake, 56, wanted to run 50 half-marathons to raise money for CALM - Credit: Adrian Peake

A mini-stroke nearly scuppered Adrian Peake's important 50 half-marathon fundraiser - but Ipswich JAFFA ran to the rescue.  

Mr Peake, a 56-year-old from Ipswich, decided in March that he wanted to run 50 half-marathons in memory of two friends - both members of Ipswich JAFFA Running Club - who took their own lives.  

He was coming back to running after recovering from a major operation linked to ongoing cancer treatment and wanted to pay tribute to his friends, one of whom died towards the end of last year.  

All money raised from the 13-mile runs will go to mental health charity CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably), which JAFFA supports, but a setback nearly derailed the fundraising. 

Mr Peake said: "I managed to get to number 24, doing three half-marathons in a week at one point, but then unfortunately I had another health setback: a mini-stroke, basically. I can't actually run at the moment, not for another three or four weeks, and my friends at Ipswich JAFFA knew that.  

"So Beryl Lansdown contacted me and suggested that the club could finish the challenge for me.  

"They took it on two weeks ago and basically completed the other 26 half-marathons in four days, really pulling together.  

"The response I've had, and the support, means a lot. My mental health has been pushed by the fact that I've had cancer, a very NET rare cancer that can be treated but not cured, and I know people who have suffered with mental health issues.  

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"But this challenge is a tribute to my friends, that's why I wanted to do it for this charity rather than any others."  

And it won't be long before Mr Peake, who has run the London marathon twice, is tying up his laces again.  

"I've been a member of JAFFA for over 10 years now, though I've had a few stops and starts with injury and my illness. It's probably one of the best things I've ever done.  

"Doctors told me I can go back to gentle jogging and gradually build up again, so I should be up and running by the end of December.  

"I'm grateful JAFFA have finished this challenge for me - that means it'll be a new project for me when I get back to it."