When Ian Archer tackles the Bruges marathon on Sunday (October 20), memories of his younger sister will be very much in mind.

Lynn Archer-Huntley was just 42 when she lost her battle with bowel cancer in 2011. That’s why Ian, 54, will be supporting Bowel & Cancer Research when he pounds the pavements of the Belgian city.

The teacher from the University of Aberystwyth says he’s not a runner.

“I hated running when I was a kid – at school we were routinely bussed out to Essex. It always seemed to be winter and we’d have to run in a skimpy red vest and a pair of white shorts,” he said.

Cycling became his sport of choice, the pinnacle of which was completing the 85-mile Etape de Tour (a stage of the Tour de France) through the French Alps in 2013.

It was watching the London Marathon that inspired him to swap the bike saddle for a pair of running shoes.

This is a challenge for me, and not just to finish. I’ve set myself a target of under four hours

said Ian, who lives in Cnwch Coch near Aberystwyth.

His sister Lynn Archer-Huntley, from Swansea, was diagnosed with bowel cancer a year before she passed away, leaving her husband and 11-year-old son.

She was the most genuine, likeable person you could wish to meet

said Ian.

“There were six children in our family and she made a real effort to keep us all in contact, even though we went our separate ways. 

She was always full of life and I like to remember the things we did as kids – cycling, running and playing in the park. I know I’ll feel she is with me in Bruges.

“I hope my efforts will raise awareness and fundraise for Bowel & Cancer Research so that soon some answers to this awful disease are found and people diagnosed in the future will have a chance.”

Ian chose to sign up for the Bruges event because it’s his favourite city. His wife Julie is going too and is taking her bike so she can keep up and cheer him along.

Chief Executive of Bowel & Cancer Research Deborah Gilbert thanked Ian for his support.

It is terribly sad that Lynn Archer should lose her life at such a young age.

"Our aim is to ensure that no one should die of bowel cancer in future and we can only do that with the help of our fantastic fundraisers,” she said.  

Anyone who wants to support Ian can do so at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ian-archer-marathon