Alysia to run 10k in memory of beloved grandad

Paul Holland and Alysia Smith
Paul Holland and Alysia Smith
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A Chorley family is urging people to swap their slippers for trainers by taking part in the Cancer Research UK Manchester Winter Run.

Prison custody officer Paul Holland and his step-daughter Alysia Smith are running together in the unique 10k event, which takes place in the city for the first time on Sunday, February 28, and they are urging men and women of all abilities to join them.

For those looking to get fitter, the Winter Run is the perfect New Year challenge.

Taking on the event could also provide seasoned runners with the motivation to banish the winter blues and keep training during the cold weather – all in aid of a good cause.

The event’s special wintry features include falling snow and hugs from friendly ‘polar bears’ on the finish line, providing an added incentive to conquer the cold for Cancer Research UK.

Paul, 37, and 21-year-old Alysia are taking on the challenge to raise vital funds for life-saving research after Alysia’s grandfather died last year.

David Squibb who was Paul’s father-in-law, had been a fit and active man.

But in 2013, he developed a cough as well as pains in his shoulder and arm. Following a scan David, who lived in Astley Village, was diagnosed with lung cancer.

Without chemotherapy, David was told he had just three months to live.

He underwent treatment, but sadly two Christmases ago, he deteriorated and died on January 8, aged 74.

Paul and Alysia, who is a third-year fashion styling and image making student at Salford University, have been training together.

Paul said: “I’ve never been into running before, but the training is going really well and it’s good fun running with Alysia who registered me to take part in the first place.

“By raising money through the Winter Run, we want to help Cancer Research UK fund research which will help save more lives in the future.

“The cold won’t put us off because we know the money we are raising is helping to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured. That’s what will keep us going come rain, shine or blizzard!”

The Cancer Research UK Winter Run Series takes place in Manchester, Liverpool and London and encourages people to keep running throughout the winter by taking on a 10k, whilst raising money for research to help beat 200 types of cancer.

In Manchester, the closed road route will be transformed into a winter wonderland which takes place in and around the Etihad Campus.

To enter the Cancer Research UK Manchester Winter Run, visit