COLAC veteran marathon runner John Timms plans to smash an ultra-marathon record next week to raise awareness for Colac’s new cancer centre.
Mr Timms will turn 73 on day two of Adelaide’s six-day ultra-marathon, which starts on Monday, and said he was ready to break a road race record for over-70s of 550 kilometres in six days.
“I’ve done 18 six-day marathons, including 13 at Memorial Square, and I’ve already done 653 kilometres eight times, so it’s well within my capabilities,” Mr Timms said.
“My strategy is the first two days I run non-stop, the adrenalin keeps you going, then I’ll be tired, so I will sleep easily, for about four hours a day.”
Mr Timms is a cancer survivor and a supporter of Colac Area Health’s Long Road Appeal to develop a cancer treatment centre in Colac.
Doctors diagnosed Mr Timms with prostate cancer in 2005 and he continues to have regular blood tests after last receiving radiation treatment earlier this year.
Mr Timms said having a cancer treatment centre in Colac would save Colac and district cancer patients from driving hundreds of kilometres for low-risk chemotherapy.
The committed runner said he had raised $3000 for the appeal since it started in August through donations and placing 90 collection tins in businesses in Colac, Simpson, Cororooke and Apollo Bay.
“One lady gave me a cheque for $500 for the appeal, someone gave me a winning scratchie ticket worth $10 – she said it was all she had,” Mr Timms told the Colac Herald.
“I delivered Long Road Appeal flyers by pushbike to all of Colac, I covered 350 kilometres over a few days,” he said.
“I’ll have the tin sitting out the front of my tent in Adelaide, and I’ll sell Colac Area Health caps.
“If I can put the effort in by running, then the community can put some effort in by donating to the appeal.
“We can have a very successful cancer treatment centre in Colac soon,” he said.
Colac Area Health Foundation is aiming to raise $250,000 from the Colac community to create a Colac cancer clinic to treat up to 40 cancer patients a week from the end of 2015.