Head Physiotherapist at Norwich City Chris Burton is now six days into his fundraising challenge for Prostate Cancer UK, in which he’s running 10k every day in November.
#ProstateUnited aims to get staff from Premier League and EFL clubs raising money for the charity, with one in eight men across the UK diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime.
“It was started three years ago by the guys at Rotherham United,” Burton explained.
“I think there are 20 out of the 92 that are involved, including 30 staff who are actually doing it.
“I’ve seen the charity before and a close friend of mine, Kevin Hornsby, who was my soft tissue therapist at Barnsley and Scunthorpe United, was diagnosed with prostate cancer 18 months ago.
“He’s a very good friend of mine and it was quite upsetting for me at the time when he told me about it. He went through his treatment, had the operation and thankfully he’s come out the other end of it fit and well.
“It really brought it to my attention. Prostate cancer is real and it can affect lots of different people, so I think it’s a really good charity to try to build that awareness for.”
Chris isn’t alone in his endeavour, with other members of the Norwich City staff joining in and offering support.
“I’m running around the training ground and Glyn Lewis has run a few with me. Damien Bowyer is doing a 5k every day as well. Chris Budd, the soft tissue therapist, has joined me on a few routes, and so has Stuart Webber.
“There are a few people jumping in and helping me along the way, which is nice.
“I’ll get treatment from the soft tissue therapist and use the ice baths that we’ve got and the various recovery modalities to try and recover as much as I possibly can, then it’s run, recover, repeat for 30 days.
“I hope that my body stands up to the task. I think I’ll be tired, but it’s a mental test more than anything to get up and do it every day.”
With the UK put back into national lockdown on Thursday, Chris emphasises the importance of exercising, and the positive impact it can have on the mind.
“Everyone is going through a hard time at the minute with Coronavirus,” he said. “This just highlights the fact that mindfulness and wellbeing is really important. It’s a way for me to focus on something and give a bit back to a really good charity.
“It’s really good for your fitness and mental wellbeing. Exercise releases endorphins and makes you feel good, so it’s definitely worthwhile. Doing it every day is quite extreme, but I’m feeling good for it and the health factors will be good as well.
“It’s about trying to bring football together a little bit as well, because obviously it’s testing times for the lower league clubs. It’s good that we can show unity as a sport and people try to help out.”
With just over two thirds of the month still to go, there remains plenty of running to be done by Chris, but he’s hopeful that the habit extends to a lesser extent in the long term.
“Hopefully, when November is over, I’ll continue and try to do three or four runs a week, continuing with the long-distance running,” he said.
“It might help spur people on to go and get checked and make sure everything’s okay. If me doing a few runs does that, I’ll be happy.”
To support Chris and donate to Prostate Cancer UK, visit his JustGiving page here.