Kelly set to race just weeks after life saving surgery

Aaron Kelly is tackling the Gold Coast Marathon tomorrow
Aaron Kelly is tackling the Gold Coast Marathon tomorrow Contributed

CANCER survivor Aaron Kelly has travelled 723km to be at the Gold Coast this weekend, but it's the 42.195km ahead of him there that has the Rockhampton man energised.

Six weeks ago the father of three had a mastectomy after doctors discovered cancer cells under his right pectoral muscle.

Tomorrow he'll line up alongside 30,000 runners at the starting line of the Gold Coast Marathon.

Aaron has been training solidly for the past few weeks, covering about 50km a week, in the build up to the event.

He'll draw inspiration from his family with the names of his wife and three children tattooed on his right arm.

It's a constant reminder of the support they've shown him since he was first diagnosed with metastatic malignant melanoma last November.

"It'll take a lot of guts to get through that and I'll draw inspiration from my family," Aaron said.

"If I'm feeling a bit jaded I've got Krissy, Jack, Hannah and Pippa's names on my right arm so I'll look at that to give me some inspiration.

"It's a reminder of the support they've shown me through all of this. I wouldn't be here without them."

Along with a host of Rockhampton folks, Aaron will be joined on the starting line by good mates Dallas Williams and Brendan James after the trio pledged late last year to tackle the marathon.

The Gold Coast Marathon is a perfect fit for the cancer survivor to tackle as the marathon's official charity is Cancer Council Queensland.

It's his first marathon and, like most newcomers, the goal is simple - finish.

"I haven't had the most ideal preparation for my first marathon, that's for sure," Aaron said of the build-up.

"It'll be good to finally cross that finish line. Whether it's crawling, walking or running, I don't mind.

"It'll be emotional seeing the kids and Krissy in the crowd and having them join me for the finish."

And how will he celebrate the end of Sunday's race?

"I'll probably end up playing a game of footy with Jack on the beach. There'll be no rest for the wicked come post-race."

Sunday's marathon starts 7.20am.

Topics:  cancer editors picks family gold coast marathon

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