Details, details – passport numbers, final kit checks, sore bits. Definitely taking up a lot of my thoughts at the moment. 21 days to go. Trying to control the doubts.

But also, reflecting.

Pete’s death of melanoma started the process of seeing Marathon des Sables on Trans World Sport some 25 years ago. An inspirational challenge that I saw as well beyond my ability.

And tomorrow I’m 40, and that isn’t a milestone.

I’m thinking my Dad would have been 67 (we shared a birthday) and this birthday will be the 20th one without him. I think of my Mum’s 40th birthday – her hair just growing back after chemotherapy and her last but one. Cancer killed my parents half my lifetime ago.

I know how cancer smashes through lives.

The summit of Foel Offrwm.
The summit of Foel Offrwm.

We all hope it won’t be us, but it will, the statistics say so. And melanoma, that’s the cancer of our generation – those born from the 60’s – 90’s. When in the 50’s every one smoked and then Lung Cancer was a battle 20 years on, “we” in middle age now are going to have to deal with Melanoma.

Research is speeding up, cures are getting better.  But we’re still behind on what is preventable.

What are you going to do? I’m going to run across the desert to raise money and awareness. A good deal of catharsis too.

Last night I took my daughter up a hill for a beautiful sunset. Walking. Running. Slipping. Sliding. Laughing. Living.

Value the living.

When it’s gone, its gone.

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