Home Events Project 565 Miles – Paul Mason

Project 565 Miles – Paul Mason

In 2020 Paul Mason will run 565 miles to raise awareness and funds for research into cancer specifically hepatocellular carcinoma at King’s College Hospital (KCH) in London. He’ll run in memory of his friend Mark Thornberry who died of primary liver cancer in June 2020 after a 3-year long battle.

The original plan was to complete his challenge in 100 days. Paul would start on May 21 with the Grand Union Canal Race (GUCR), Britain’s longest, toughest, non-stop running race. Competitors are required to complete the 145 mile distance from the centre of Birmingham to the centre of London along the Grand Union Canal within the time limit of 45 hours.
Paul planned to undertake a double GUCR145, starting from the finish line in Little Venice, London, run up to Birmingham, then turnaround and join the official race and run back down to London all within 4 days.

This obviously didn’t happen because of Covid-19, so Paul rescheduled Double GUCR145 (290 miles) to 23rd July – 26th July 2020:

Approx timings of where Paul Mason will be in relation to the first 145 miles. He will be wearing a tracker for the full event so you can join him or follow along.

Leg 1 – Little Venice London to Birmingham Gas Street – Thurs 23rd July to Fri 24th July
Start L.V London – 4am – 0 miles
H’brough Tavern – 6am – 11 miles
Springwell Lock – 7.50am – 22.5 miles
Grand Junction Arms – 10am – 35 miles
Br99 Water Eaton – 12.15pm – 45 miles
Navigation Br 64 – 4.30pm – 61 miles
Heart of England – 8.15pm – 76 miles
Birdingbury Br21 – 3.45am – 96 miles
Hatton Locks – 7.30am – 120 miles
Catherine de barnes 2pm Fri – 135 miles
Gas St Bham – 6pm Fri – 145 miles

Sat 25th/Sun 26th leg 2 – 146 miles to 290 miles; details and approx timings to follow shortly.

Paul will have 2 crews of 2 people each to help keep him moving forward to deliver the goal for Mark.

This number will be available for those wishing to join us on any of the 290 mile journey up and back along the GU canal over the 4 days:

24th-25th July 2020 Paul would join Kennet & Avon Canal 145 (145 miles), but it’s unfortunately cancelled, so Paul will find another race later this year.

Hopefully the rest of his plan can take place as follows so on 29th-30th August 2020 he’ll run Leeds & Liverpool Canal 130 (130 miles).

His WHY is very simple:
“At the end of June 2017 fellow runner Mark Thornberry was diagnosed with a type of terminal primary liver cancer and given 6 to 9 months to live.

However, Mark was determined not to go quietly into the night and followed surgery at the start of 2019 to remove 50% of his liver, numerous other procedures and an experimental dual drug trial, still fighting a valiant battle.

Unfortunately at the end of September 2019 additional secondary tumors were identified and there was a strong probability that Mark would no longer be eligible to continue the drug trial he was on.
On June 14, 2020, Mark’s race ended. He will always be a huge inspiration!

There is no donation too small (or indeed too large) I know that there always seems to be someone asking for something, but your help and support matters more than you know and is so hugely appreciated.
Many thanks, Paul Mason.”

Image by YouComMedia


Jul 23 2020 - Jul 26 2020

Event info

Project 565 Miles


London, Birmingham, Bristol, Liverpool, Leeds
Project 565 Miles


  • Mark Thornberry

    “At the end of June 2017 I was diagnosed with terminal primary liver cancer and given 6 to 9 months to live.

    On January 30th 2019 I underwent major surgery to remove more than 50% of my liver. A procedure that had hitherto not been possible to prescribe given the disposition of my cancer and the complication of having underlying cirrhosis. The operation went as well as possible.

    However, my tumour biology means that I am susceptible to recurrence, and at the beginning of May 2019 (and at the time of writing this update) scans have revealed secondary cancer outside of the liver.

    I am coming to terms with this…but boy, it’s hard to take whilst still not 100% recovered from the previous surgery.

    A treatment plan is being formulated and I am firmly resolved to uphold what I said after my initial diagnosis – I refuse, absolutely refuse, to go quietly into the night. I’ve undergone five procedures and am still jabbing away some two years later, though the medics are unsure as to why. This is the nature of liver cancer in many, many cases.

    So, whilst and when I can, I’m going to use my passion for ultrarunning as a means to keep raising funds for research into my cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma) at King’s College Hospital (KCH) in London – who have been caring for me as an outpatient for the past 14 years for my liver disease and who are now providing support and treatment for my cancer.”

    More about Mark and how to support him: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/MarkThornberry

  • Paul Mason

    Paul Mason considers himself as an Obsessed runner ? who turned into an ultra runner.

    “In 2020 I am honoured to be raising monies for Mark Thornberry Cancer Charity – all monies I raise will be ring fenced and directed to the official charity.


    For the members of the “running family” I am sure you will know of Mark’s story of courage and resilience….I cannot think of a more humble guy to support.”

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