NICK LOUGHLIN, a former Northern Echo Sports Editor, is running the 2022 London Marathon in aid of Prostate Cancer research.

In a series of blogs ahead of October’s event, he hopes to take you through his journey.

YOU may recall reading a lot about Prostate Cancer UK on these sports pages in the past.

Jeff Stelling, Mr Hartlepool, Sky Sports icon and charity fund raiser extraordinaire was regularly featured as he pounded the streets and walkways of the UK to raise funds and awareness.

I was lucky enough to join Jeff and his walkers on a leg of his epic 14 marathons in 14 days in 2017, as we rambled from Darlington to Hartlepool, from Blackwell Meadows to Victoria Park.

Jeff, the walking pied piper, led his merry men and their band of aching feet for 26 miles and a bit more.

Some great people joined in, from the inspirational Kevin Webber - diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer, but who has since turned into a real life Superman - to the late Lloyd Pinder - Sunderland fan to the end, who was lost to the disease in 2020.

Prostate cancer affects one in eight men. Football has been a great platform for the charity, with managers sporting the badge, attending events and raising awareness.

One in eight. That’s about 2,500 of your average Middlesbrough crowd or 660 at Hartlepool United.

For me, it came to roost when my uncle was diagnosed earlier this year. I’d entered the ballot for London, but didn’t expect to get a spot.

So instead, I applied for a charity place with Prostate Cancer. Ten weeks later and here we are, as my 12-week marathon training plan starts to kick in.

Thanks to the wonderful staff at James Cook and the marvels of modern medicine, my uncle has had a robotic operation, both the cancer and his prostate removed, and is in full recovery mode.

He has been through the mill a bit, both physically and emotionally. I’d like to think that this adventure around the streets of the capital is my way of showing support.

I recently did the Gateshead and Sunderland half-marathons, proudly donning my Prostate Cancer UK vest.

In the past I’ve done the Great North Run and wilted at the idea of turning around and doing it again…This year the Great North Run isn’t on my agenda, it’s too close to the main event.

But, by then, I should be running 23 miles or so with relative ease.

I hope you will enjoy following my journey.

* To sponsor Nick and support Prostate Cancer UK, visit