A veteran of the catering equipment market is bidding to complete his 34th consecutive London Marathon next month — just five weeks after undergoing a major operation.
David Fereday, boss of weighing and catering equipment supplier H. Fereday & Sons, is one of only 15 people in the country who have taken part in every London marathon since it started in 1981.
His astonishing record looked to be under threat recently when he was forced to undergo an operation after being diagnosed with bladder and prostate cancer. He faces another operation and various treatments in a few weeks’ time.
However, he has vowed to be at the start line on Sunday April 13, and will raise money to repay the Freeman Hospital, where he has been treated, by organising sponsorship for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.
“I am fortunate to be treated by the Freeman Hospital Newcastle Upon Tyne which gains funding from Sir Bobby’s Foundation to help with cancer research projects. The level of care I have been receiving gives me tremendous confidence in the NHS, which so often suffers from criticism. I have found the professionalism, hard work and happy demeanour from consultant to cleaning staff inspirational, not to mention the most excellent meals.”
Fereday, who is chairman of H.Fereday & Sons — one of the oldest catering equipment producers around after being founded by his great-grandfather in 1862 — will personally match pound to pound every donation he receives from business and social contacts, family and friends.
And to make things a little bit interesting, he plans to give away a set of traditional kitchen scales that his company manufactures for anybody that correctly predicts his time.
“My quickest time was 2 hours 44 minutes, but that was 29 years ago! Nowadays as a septuagenarian with a gammy leg I cannot run, but recourse to race walking in a time between 5 hours 20 and 5 hours 40 minutes. With the cancer problem that may slow up to 6 hours or beyond.”
Anybody wishing to make a donation or guess his time can reach him via email here