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Running for a reason lightens load

David Griffith (left) is running in the City2Surf and has raised $45,000 for the Australian Cancer Research Foundation. Denis Reid (right) is running in the Canberra Times Fun Run to raise money to fight multiple sclerosis.

David Griffith (left) is running in the City2Surf and has raised $45,000 for the Australian Cancer Research Foundation. Denis Reid (right) is running in the Canberra Times Fun Run to raise money to fight multiple sclerosis. Photo: Katherine Griffiths

SHORTLY after taking up running Denis Reid was stopped by a mountain biker worried the grandfather was a lost old man disoriented in the bush.

On the contrary, the retired truck driver, 65, not only knows exactly where he is running but is also clear about why he runs.

''Multiple sclerosis,'' Mr Reid says, ''is like living with the devil. It's like ringbarking a tree. The person slowly loses their mobility and their dignity.''

The disease has crippled his wife of 44 years, Annette, and it is why he has again entered The Canberra Times Fun Run on September 8.

He hopes to raise $1000, but has raised much more since taking up running at age 60.

While collecting money, he has been losing weight.

In 2009, Denis weighed 115 kilograms. He is now 76 kilograms.

Next month, he will run the new 14 kilometre race at the fun run which also includes a 10-kilometre run and a five-kilometre course.

Last year, he ran The Canberra Times marathon and has finished several City2Surfs in Sydney - an event being held again this Sunday, although he is not entering this year because he wants to save some energy.

One Canberran who will be in the City2Surf is David Griffith, who in three years has raised $45,000 for the Australian Cancer Research Foundation.

''The money we've raised just from family, friends and people I know through work has just been insane,'' the 28-year-old said.

The IT consultant's mother, Ann, survived just nine months after extensive cancer was found throughout her femur, spine, skull and pelvis in early 2011.

It was believed to be linked to skin cancer she had overcome eight years previously.

Unlike many entrants, Mr Griffith wants to increase the time it takes him to finish the 14-kilometre race this year.

He finished it in an hour and 12 seconds last year but a looming knee operation will ensure he is much slower this time.

As of late last week, Canberrans in Sunday's City2Surf had raised $135,517 for charity.

■ To donate go to everydayhero.com.au and search for by event and charity.

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