Mr Ovary, renowned in the East of England for pounding the streets wearing a giant costume of part of the reproductive system, with a collection bucket in hand, is coming to Harrogate.
The town will be the first he will visit — on Saturday 4 September 2021— in his Great Northern Mr Ovary Tour, running throughout September, to mark Gynaecological Cancer Awareness Month.
Otherwise known as Craig McMurrough, the human resources director from Royston, Hertfordshire, has been raising awareness of ovarian cancer since losing his younger sister Cheryl Earnshaw to the disease five years ago, just three weeks after her diagnosis.
He hopes his bucket collection in Harrogate town centre will take him a step closer to reaching his £100,000 target for the ovarian cancer charity Ovacome, as well as drawing attention to the main symptoms of the disease: persistent bloating, eating less and feeling fuller, abdominal and pelvic pain and changes to urinary and bowel habits.
Craig has been a prolific fundraiser having reached over £40,000 for Ovacome, competing in 19 marathons and completing a climb of Mount Kilimanjaro in which he placed a photo of Cheryl and an Ovacome T-shirt at the summit.
His efforts were recognised as a finalist of the Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Regional Fundraiser of the Year award for Anglia West in 2020.
The father of one, aged 50, has become a local celebrity, known as Mr Ovary, thanks to the 6ft foam ovary costume he wears on the marathons and while training in the run up to them, usually with a collection bucket in hand.
It means a lot to me to make a difference in memory of Cheryl. The costume makes quite an impression and will help people remember the symptoms I talk about. People even come up to me in the supermarket to say hello, having met me wearing the ovary costume.
Now that most people in my neighbourhood will have come across Mr Ovary and the message that a cervical smear test will not pick up the disease, it is a no brainer to take him out onto the road.
Next stop will be Newcastle city centre where Craig plans to compete in the Great North Run. It will be the first competitive race he has been able to take part in for two
years, because of Covid delaying events. Then Craig hopes to run the London marathons later this year.
If you miss Craig out in Harrogate on Saturday but would like to donate to his cause, please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/craig-mcmurrough14