19 April 2017 - 4:29pm
With nearly 40,000 runners and more than 200,000 spectators at the London Marathon this weekend, a Canadian living in Nottingham will be running the marathon for the first time. He’ll be running in loving memory of his brother and for people transforming their lives away from addiction.
The day will be especially poignant for Major Wayne Bungay, The Salvation Army East Midlands Divisional Leader. Major Bungay said: “I’ve always wanted to run a marathon in dedication to my brother, Colonel Roy Bungay. He sadly contracted bone cancer at the age of 56 and fought a brave, hard battle for 6 years. I am now 56 and wanted to remember him in this way since he is my hero and my inspiration”.
Colonel Roy was a keen sportsman, particularly with fly fishing, ice-hockey, football and boxing. As a Colonel in The Salvation Army he and his family served in various parts of the world including Singapore/Malaysia, South Africa, and as Territorial Commander in Papua New Guinea before becoming very ill with cancer.
Major Wayne said: “Similar to my brother, I loved playing various team sports like ice-hockey, football, basketball, golf and of course, fly fishing! In addition, I’ve seen the valuable and enabling work being carried out with men at Gloucester House; a drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre in Swindon. The centre does life-changing work. People can be referred to Gloucester House from all over the UK and I just knew I had to fundraise for that project, which is part of The Salvation Army”.
Major Wayne has been training for the London Marathon since June 2016, but his serious training regime started in January, having clocked more than 360 miles in preparation. Daily runs have increased from just a few miles all the way up to the benchmark 20 mile run a few weeks ago, while carefully managing his nutrition. Wayne said, “I remember my first mile and it was excruciatingly painful. I’m not a natural runner, so had to develop a good technique and running rhythm to avoid injury. I consulted many written and online resources to be able to fun faster, further and smarter, which meant understanding the physical, biological, emotional and social effects of training and running. While there were many aids and tools available, I’ve really had to be disciplined around planning my running time along with everything else. My work colleagues, friends and family have all been extremely supportive, especially my wife Deborah. In fairness, much of the training time has taken me away from my wife, so I’m very grateful for her patience and encouragement. Deb was the first person to say ‘go for it!”
Wayne visited Gloucester House in Swindon, last September and was able to meet the residents and staff and share a meal with them. He was very touched to see and hear their stories; men who had transformed their lives from addiction to freedom. The service at Gloucester House offers residential and day courses for those battling addictions. You can read an inspirational story about Trevor on their website: https://www.salvationarmy.org.uk/trevor.
Speaking about the fundraising for the run, Wayne believes he will reach his target of £2000. He also expects to finish the Marathon in around four hours 30 minutes. He said, “I’m not looking forward to the final six mile stretch, I think I’ll be running on empty then".
Wayne has got stuck in, running at local park runs, first thing in the morning and in the evenings. He said, “Running has provided some very good benefits for me, it has made me stronger mentally and emotionally and I’ve had more time to pray and reflect. I’m sure I’ll look to do more marathons!” Something that Major Wayne didn’t expect was a 50lbs (22 kgs) weight drop since starting training. Major Wayne will be running with Team Sally Army – made of 35 runners along different courses.