Meeting Stephen Sutton was the inspiration for Staffordshire man.
A draftsman from Staffordshire has signed up for the Morrisons Great Birmingham Run in October after running 13 events in the last two years.
Ian Rowlands, 29, from Burntwood, Staffordshire, was thirteen when a car accident left him in a coma for six weeks and in a wheelchair for a year. Two years ago, he decided to get fit so started taking part in running events around the country; eleven half-marathons and two marathons later he’s showing no sign of stopping!
13-year-old Ian broke an arm and a leg in the accident. He was airlifted to hospital by Midlands Air Ambulance.
He made a full recovery after a year in a wheelchair, and in 2013 Ian ran his first half-marathon for the Midlands Air Ambulance as a thank you for saving his life.
“I was first inspired to start running because I was really into football when I was younger, and my accident prevented me from playing for a really long time. I decided I wanted to be a referee and that I needed to get fit, so I started running,” Ian explained.
“When I started I realised – I could do more of this! I just really enjoyed it. So I just kept running.”
Ian decided to run the Brighton Marathon in April 2015 for Teenage Cancer Trust after the charity put him in touch with terminal cancer patient Stephen Sutton in 2014.
Stephen Sutton made headlines in 2014 for his fundraising efforts and outstanding courage in the face of terminal illness. His actions lead to over four million pounds in donations. Ian was so touched by his story that he made the decision to run the Brighton Marathon in honour of Stephen’s memory.
“I was gobsmacked at his bravery, I was so inspired I just had to raise as much money as possible. I’m still close to his family,” Ian added.
Ian took part in a tandem skydive on 4th July to raise more money for Teenage Cancer Trust. The event, which was organised by Stephen’s family, featured 403 skydives, thus breaking the world record of the tandem skydives in a day. £140,000 was raised altogether through the event.
Although this time, Ian is not running the Great Birmingham Run for a particular charity, he looks forward to taking part in numerous fundraising events in the upcoming months. Over the last two years, Ian has also raised money for Midlands Air Ambulance, Birmingham Children’s Hospital, Leaukemia Research.
To donate to Teenage Cancer Trust, visit: www.teenagecancertrust.org/support-us/donate
You can sign up for the run at www.greatrun.org/Birmingham