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Picture of Barrie Silman -Ultra Challenge
Barrie at the end of this year's Challenge


10 Years ago, W. Bro Barrie Silman a member of the Stella Maris Lodge 7279 and Thanet Chapter 429, underwent an operation on one of his knees (micro fracture) to repair a shattered cartilage.  After 8 weeks on crutches he had to learn to walk again, he couldn’t even get to the end of his road.

His  surgeon advised him to exercise so that he kept the muscles around the knee strong and avoid an early knee replacement, he also said due to the nature of the injury and surgery that Barrie would never be able to run again as the impact would cause further injury.

Tenacity being Barrie’s middle name he started power walking. First round the block (2 laps). That 2 laps eventually built up to a mile, and over the space of a few years Barrie was up to 5 miles a day.

Barrie’s wife is a cancer survivor, but unfortunately, they lost her sister to cancer in 2017, leaving behind 3 teenage daughters.

By this time his wife was volunteering  for a cancer research group and in 2019 Barrie, being stronger and fitter, decided to walk an ‘ultra-marathon’ ( 50km/31 miles) in 2020.

Covid obviously delayed this, so he signed up for the Thames Path Challenge in September 2021. Barrie’s  training involved walking up to 20 miles a day, 2 to 3 times a week.

On that occasion Barrie finished in 8 hours 40 minutes and raised in excess £3300.

Never thinking he would do the challenge again; he dropped his guard. His many supporters persuaded him to sign up for the ‘Chiltern 50km’, another ‘Ultra Marathon’ challenge. The training started again – up to 20miles twice a week.

The course was more demanding On 24th of September Barrie completed the challenge, but only after a few obstacles with very steep hill climbs and descents, nearly all off road through forests with loose stones, rocks, wood, tree roots etc. Around the 40km mark he rolled his ankle on one of these loose stones on one of the descents and fell.

 At first, Barrie thought it was broken and didn’t move for a few minutes, eventually, putting some on it, and with a few pain killers, he continued continued to the finish in a time of 9 hours 4 minutes.

Pledged money is still coming in but currently £2233 is in ‘The Pot’. In total over £5500.

Barrie is extremely grateful to everyone for donating during this current financial crisis and very humbled.

Barrie is now considering signing up for another Ultra Marathon challenge next year.

Watch this space and look out for the appeal for supporting this very worthwhile cause.

Cancer Research UK

Our vision for a better future

We want to bring about a world where everybody can lead longer, better lives, free from the fear of cancer.

A world where:

  • Some types of cancer are effectively eliminated  
  • Many more are prevented from developing in the first place 
  • People who do develop cancer are diagnosed at the earliest possible stage so they can be successfully treated  
  • Treatments are more effective, kinder and more targeted, so people can lead better, more fulfilling lives  
  • Everyone shares in this progress equally, regardless of who they are, where they’re from or what type of cancer they have  

“This strategy offers the one thing we all seek: hope. Hope that the more we discover about the causes of cancer, the more this can be used to prevent it.

Hope that discoveries will also lead to a better understanding of how cancer affects our bodies, leading to a better quality of life.

Hope that more people will be able to live well with the disease where a cure is not yet an option.

Most importantly, it gives us hope that these discoveries will lead to more options for more of us”. 

From our patient representatives – Ally Boyle, Patrick McGuire, Angela Polanco and Claire James

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Do you or your lodge or Chapter have a story like Barries? let us know and let the world know of your great achievements and the fantastic work you are all doing. Contact Phil: [email protected]