This duo is fighting cancer — by running 147 km to Trepassey

·2 min read
Charles Luther and Melvin Sutton are running 147 kilometres to raise money for Daffodil Place.  (Jeremy Eaton/CBC - image credit)
Charles Luther and Melvin Sutton are running 147 kilometres to raise money for Daffodil Place. (Jeremy Eaton/CBC - image credit)
Jeremy Eaton/CBC
Jeremy Eaton/CBC

Charles Luther and Melvin Sutton are running home to Trepassey to raise money for Daffodil Place, a non-profit organization that provides lodging for cancer patients and caregivers who travel to St. John's for treatment.

The duo will leave from Mile One Centre in downtown St. John's on Wednesday and wind their way through the Southern Shore before ending up in their home town, some 147 kilometres away.

Luther figures it will take the pair about 2½ days to complete the journey, with four checkpoints along the way in Bay Bulls, Cape Broyle, Port Kirwin and Cappahayden.

He's been training for nearly a year and a half.

"I had a lot of people around me that were affected by cancer — family friends, my father-in-law, a couple of close friends in particular — and I wanted to do something," Luther told CBC News.

"One of my close friends and neighbour, Jamie Hynes, he passed away this past June, and we're dedicating this run to Jamie. We really miss him a lot. He has been one of our biggest supporters since I started this."

Luther is an experienced ultramarathon runner, while Sutton started putting in the work over the last year. Both began running 80 to 100 kilometres a week in preparation for their fundraiser.

Luther said the support so far has been phenomenal, with donations reaching $11,000 as of Tuesday. The initial goal was $10,000.

Submitted by Charles Luther
Submitted by Charles Luther

Hynes had a wife and two children. Luther said the family supports the run, understanding its significance.

"It's definitely going to be emotional, just thinking about Jamie and those affected by cancer, my wife and my kids and everyone who is supporting us," he said.

Sutton, like many, felt the effects of cancer close to home. He told CBC News he wanted to get involved in the run ever since Luther put the idea in his mind, and because of his father-in-law who died of lung cancer.

Sutton said getting into shape has been tough over the last year, including road training and hitting the gym, but raising the money for Daffodil Place is important to him personally.

"I did a 50K on Good Friday last year. [I was] pretty stiff afterwards, but that was normal," he said.

"[I'm] a bit nervous, yeah. I just want to make sure I can get it done in one piece."

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