Brave Julie inspires Colne man’s marathon bid

GOING THE EXTRA MILE: John Burns will be taking on the London Marathon for his close friend Julie Shute (S)
GOING THE EXTRA MILE: John Burns will be taking on the London Marathon for his close friend Julie Shute (S)

A Colne bus driver is going the extra mile by taking on his first ever marathon for his friend.

John Burns was inspired to raise money for Clatterbridge Cancer Charity after his good pal Julie Shute was diagnosed with Grade IV Glioblastoma multiforme, a form of brain cancer, in August 2013.

When the 46-year-old heard his application for the London Marathon had been a success, he said choosing a charity to support was an easy decision to make. His training regime began in March 2014, and he is currently running three to four times a week around Colne.

Transdev worker John, of Beacon Close, said: “Julie has fought this battle head on and she is my inspiration. I couldn’t think of anything better than to raise money for this cause.

“I met Julie a few years ago when the breakfast presenters on Real Radio, Ditchy and Salty, were sacked unceremoniously.

“A number of us, including Julie and her husband Andy, got together to campaign to get them reinstated. What I am doing now compared to what she’s having to face is nothing. Her courage surpasses me.”

Having run three 10K races and one half marathon, John admits the idea of a marathon is a “little bit daunting”, but that he is optimistic. He aims to complete the run in four-and-a-half hours, and wants to raise at least £500.

The dad-of-two, who has lived in East Lancashire for more than 30 years, having originally come from just outside Glasgow, added: “I can’t go into something like this and not think ‘yes, I can do this’. Running a half marathon was a milestone in itself.

“My brother gave me some great advice and said no matter what run you undertake make sure you run the distance once before you actually do it, because psychologically I will feel better.”

John will be supported on the marathon day by his wife Sarah and sons James (15) and Thomas (10).

Julie has written regular blogs covering the heartbreaking journey that it has taken her and her husband on.

See http://julieshute.blogspot.co.uk for more on her story.

To donate visit www.justgiving.com/John-Burns18