Three employees of Aston’s Auctioneers on Tower Street, Dudley are running for Cure Leukaemia in the Bupa Great Birmingham Run this year. Owner Chris Aston and his two employees Andy Sagar and Richard Price will be pounding the 13.1 mile course on Sunday October 19th raising money for Cure Leukaemia.
Cure Leukaemia are aiming to double participation and funds raised from last year's BUPA Great Birmingham Run when the charity had 455 runners and raised £125,000. This year Cure Leukaemia are after 1000 runners to help raise £250,000, a figure that would be worth £2.5 million in potentially life-saving drugs for leukaemia patients around the region. Increased funding would enable Cure Leukaemia’s co-founder Professor Charlie Craddock to extend the impact by recruiting additional specialist nurses giving more patients access to these pioneering drugs and treatments.
“I’m really looking forward to it. I know the great work Cure Leukaemia are doing to help patients around the West Midlands and as a proud Black Country lad I am keen to help raise some money and awareness for the charity. I heard about Cure Leukaemia’s recruit a runner campaign this year so that’s exactly what I’ve done with Rich and Andy joining me.
It was easy to convince them as I just told them they would get the sack if they didn’t comply!"
If he can persuade one more staff member, Chris is considering entering his business, Aston’s Auctioneers into the Business Challenge this year, an accolade that was won by Cure Leukaemia charity partners Deloitte in 2013.
"Aston’s is a family business – me and my father set it up together and we are now in our tenth year of trading. We specialise in collectable and antique toys so it’s a really fun business to be in. It’s very interesting to see toys that I played with as a child selling for almost silly amounts of money sometimes – my favourites growing up were the Teenange Mutant Hero Turtles, and we recently sold a collection of Turtles action figures for just over £5000!”
The 30 year old is hoping to beat his previous best time of 1 hour 50 minutes this year and has been training in the Alps in preparation!
“I did a ski season in Morzine this winter and used it as a perfect opportunity to get training! I turned a few heads up on the mountain in my Cure Leukaemia shirt! I ran the half marathon a few years ago and it was the first time I had done a long distance race. Although I run fairly regularly I thought it would be hard to stay motivated for such a long race and assumed it would be quite boring – I couldn’t have been more wrong! I didn’t realise what a lift you can get from the energy of the crowds and all of the other competitors, it was a real buzz and it made it very easy to push through the pain barrier. I think the hardest part is the last three miles as the circuit starts to head uphill which really takes it out on your calf muscles, each mile seems like two at this point. Last time I managed 1hr 50mins with little in the way of training other than my normal 5km runs in the gym. This time I really want to push myself and get the best time I can – I’d like to think I am capable of 1hr 30mins but who knows!”
James McLaughlin, the Chief Executive of Cure Leukaemia said,
“The Bupa Great Birmingham Run always unearths some great stories from the fantastic runners who represent the charity and it’s great to see Chris and his team embracing the challenge. I’d like to thank Chris, Andy and Richard at Aston’s Auctioneers for running and fundraising for us and I’d also like to encourage other businesses around the region to run for Cure Leukaemia and enter the prestigious Business challenge. Birmingham has a unique and genuine opportunity to help find a cure for this terrible disease and this is the perfect opportunity for the whole region to contribute towards that goal. If we reach our target of £250,000 it will directly help save the lives of leukaemia patients around the West Midlands."