A NURSE who has seen first hand the devastating effects of cancer will pound the pavements for 26 miles in aid of research into the illness.
Community staff nurse Paul Watson, 46, is tackling the Marathon of the North to raise money for Cancer Research UK.
It is unknown territory for Paul, of East Herrington, with the Wearside event being the first marathon he has attempted.
But he says being an experienced runner should stand him in good stead for the 26-mile course.
Paul, dad to Anna, 15, Matthew, 10, and Niamh, seven, said: “I go jogging and I’ve done a couple of Great North Runs and a few 10k runs in the past but I’ve always toyed with the idea of doing a marathon.
“This is my chance to take on the challenge and do something positive for others at the same time.
“Most of us have been touched, either directly or indirectly, by cancer so I’m hoping people will be as generous as possible and help me to raise money for Cancer Research UK.”
Paul, who works for South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust, has been a nurse for about 18 years.
After gaining qualifications in 1985 he began hospital work, but after time away from the profession, he returned to nursing.
Fitting his job in around his family life Paul became a bank nurse, providing staff cover where and when it was needed in Sunderland.
The doting dad added that he hopes for cool conditions on the day of the Marathon, so that he can run a race time of under four hours.
“I would describe myself as a competent jogger,” he said.
“I know my limits but I’m fairly confident I can complete the course – I just hope it’s not a particularly warm day.”
Anyone wanting to donate to money to Paul should go to www.justgiving.com/Paul-Watson26.