'Moment of madness' sees running man Dan sign up for fundraising marathon

PUBLISHED: 08:35 12 February 2019

Dan De'Ath from Saffron Walden will be running 50 miles for Motor Neurone Disease Association. Picture: CONTIRBUTED

Dan De'Ath from Saffron Walden will be running 50 miles for Motor Neurone Disease Association. Picture: CONTIRBUTED

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A man from Saffron Walden has signed up for a 50-mile race to raise money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association, after his father's friend died of the disease.

Dan De’Ath, 30, is aiming to raise £2,000 for the charity to help support people affected by the disease and fund research for treatments.

“In a moment of madness last summer, I thought it would be a good idea to sign up for a 50-mile race along the South Downs Way,” Dan said. “With less than three months to go, the mammoth task ahead is beginning to sink in. As well as being my first ultra marathon it is also my first cross country race since I was at school.

“To keep me motivated I have decided to run for the Motor Neurone Disease Association which is a great charity providing help and support to people affected by the disease as well as contributing to research into treatments and raising awareness.”

Robert Meek was a friend of Dan’s father, with the pair being inseparable from the age of 13.

Having stayed in touch for many years Dan’s father heard all about how Robert served in the RAF and eventually he found out about Robert’s diagnosis.

Dan’s fiance, Sarah Aslaksen, said: “As you can imagine, he was devastated as he knew the illness was incurable. He was fantastically supported by the RAF at his funeral which touched many people.”

Sarah also knows how debilitating the disease is - her brother used to do sidecar racing as a hobby with a man called Ray Thomas. Ray died from the disease in November last year.

“They won many championship together and unfortunately last year my brother, who was riding with Ray’s son, was in an accident during his last race which he suffered a fractured neck and won’t be able to race again,” Sarah said. “Ray was at the track that day to support Neil in his last race.

“I think they can both say that this wasn’t how either of them thought they would finish their racing careers.”

You can sponsor Dan and raise funds for the charity by visiting: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/daniel-de-ath1.

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