30th April 2020
Gavin Oattes was supposed to be running in this year’s London Marathon on Sunday 26th April 2020.
Due to the event being postponed, he arranged his own running challenge. He enlisted the help of his neighbours, and between them, they completed a grand total of 102 miles, just short of four marathons.
Gavin’s neighbourhood team consisted of 19 people, aged from six to 60s, who ran up and down the street where they live in Edinburgh, which measures 0.4km (0.25 miles). Each household took their own time slot, with some families taking one hour and some half an hour. They ran continuously from 8am until 3.30pm, and they were urged on by two bagpipe-playing neighbours and lots of cheering and clapping. Everything was undertaken within current social distance guidelines.
This was Gavin’s own 2.6 challenge, an event organized to honour the date of the 40th London Marathon, and where people were asked to dream up their own activity.
Gavin said: “It was such a fab day and a wonderful way to lift spirits with all that’s going on in the world!”
With the help of friends, family and neighbours, Gavin has raised funds which will help us take action to make the 2020’s the Decade of Change for the world’s toughest cancer.
So far Gavin has raised over £2,600, exceeding his original £2,500 fundraising target.
Gavin is a former teacher, stand-up comedian and is currently managing director of motivational workshop and training company, Tree of Knowledge. He’s also an author and this year he published his book, Life Will See You Now. It’s a publication bursting with the enthusiastic energy which Gavin naturally displays and it’s full of tips to help facilitate a positive and healthy view of life. Also, within his book, Gavin details some of his own personal story with pancreatic cancer, which fuels his passion and support for raising awareness of the disease.
Originally from Troon in Ayrshire, Gavin lost his dad, Eric Oattes to pancreatic cancer on 20th March 2012. Eric was 65 years old and had big plans for his retirement from his job as a quantity surveyor. Plans which he never got to see through.
Gavin said: “My dad was amazing he was my hero. When he died, it put a lot of stuff into perspective for me and it made it want to enjoy things more. It made me reassess, rethink and reimagine a lot of things in my life at the time. And now, in many ways my dad also helps me to remember that life is for living and to get stuck in about the moment, enjoy it and make as much fun out of it as you can, and don’t worry about all the uncontrollable stuff you can’t do anything about.”
Fiona Brown, Development Manager, PCS, said: “We are so grateful for Gavin’s passion, energy and inspiring enthusiasm to help make a difference for pancreatic cancer. Gavin has been training so hard for the London Marathon. It was lovely to hear how his neighbourhood came together to help him mark the date on Sunday and embrace putting the “fun” into FUNdraising. It is a very challenging time for charities and this amazing support gives us such a lift, as we encourage people to find new creative, fun and safe ways to help raise funds and awareness – while of course respecting social distancing guidelines. A huge thank you to Gavin, his neighbours and all who supported their efforts – TOGETHER we can make a difference.”
For more about Gavin, see: