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Digital Subscriptions > Women’s Running > Winter 2018 > “RUNNING A 100K ULTRA HELPED ME GET HEALTHY AGAIN”


Completing a 100K trail ultra at the age of 61 wasn’t something Alex Pilgrim ever imagined doing. But it became a crucial part of her recovery from cancer

In March 2017 I was sent the home-screening kit for bowel cancer, as I’d just turned 60. It took me a few months to pluck up the courage to even open the kit, since I’d had some symptoms (blood in my stools, plus going more frequently), but thought they may have been due to my Lyme’s disease. The screening result came back as ‘abnormal’ so I had to have a colonoscopy. I was still recovering from the procedure when I was told I had bowel cancer.

“Everything moved very quickly after that, there was barely time to draw breath: I had a tumour removed in a six-hour robotic operation the following month and six weeks after that I started chemotherapy. Unfortunately, I had an allergic reaction to the chemo drugs, so that had to be discontinued.

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