Sarah sets charity’s toughest challenge

Sarah Pope is organising Cancer Research's Tough 10 event. Picture: contributed

Sarah Pope is organising Cancer Research's Tough 10 event. Picture: contributed

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Sarah Pope has seen Edinburgh from all kinds of lofty angles while organising Cancer Research UK’s first Tough 10 event in Scotland.

She has spent much of her time in recent weeks walking the Pentland Hills ahead of the 10K which will see up to 500 men and women running as fast as they can up steep inclines to raise money to beat cancer sooner.

Sarah, who lives in Marchmont, said: “I love the great outdoors and Edinburgh has so many fantastic hill walks right on its doorstep.”

The charity worker moved to the city at the start of the year and says she feels priviliged to be able to see so much of the city while organising the major fundraising event.

Sarah said: “The city is really beautiful and having Arthur’s Seat right in the city centre is amazing. But it’s when you’re out in the Pentlands, you see the beauty of the city from an altogether more lofty vantage point.

“I think the runners who take on the Tough 10 next month are going to love it. There is no doubt, the terrain is going to be really hard going, but the breathtaking scenery should keep everyone motivated – along with the chance to raise much-needed funds so we can bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.”

Sarah has worked for Cancer Research UK for two-and-a-half years, helping to organise the charity’s popular Race For Life and Pretty Muddy events.

The 29-year-old is now passionate about making Cancer Research UK’s new 10K event series, the Tough 10, a regular fixture in the serious runners’ calendar in Scotland.

The Tough 10 course in the Pentlands on November 6 is the only course in Scotland this year, and has been listed by the charity as the most challenging of a brand new series of epic 10k runs with three levels of toughness available held to raise funds for the UK-wide charity.

The Pentland course is a mixture of muddy tracks and steep, never-ending hill climbs with the terrain determined as 60 per cent paths, 30 per cent grass and ten per cent mud.

In 2015, Cancer Research UK invested around £5 million in Edinburgh, funding researchers working on new ways to prevent, diagnose and cure cancer.

There are currently clinical trials taking place in Edinburgh to find the best way to treat people with breast cancer, as well as studies happening into the faulty genes that underpin bowel cancer and research into how brain tumours grow, survive and become resistant to treatment.

A spokeswoman for Cancer Reeacrh UK said: “Edinburgh research is at the heart of ground-breaking studies into cancer research.”

Sarah added: “Edinburgh is such a stunning city with a unique vibe – there really isn’t another city like it.I love being able to see countryside from inside Edinburgh and feel so lucky to be able to be outside in it so much for work and play.”