SURVIVING a brain tumour has inspired a keen runner from Dilton Marsh to host an annual charity event with a difference to raise money for Brain Tumour Support.

Robin-Mark Schols, who had to wear a helmet after surgery to remove a brain tumour, is organising the Hilly Helmet Challenge, a four-mile fun run while wearing a helmet. The event starts from Leighton Recreation Centre, Westbury at 7pm on August 15.

After having the tumour removed in 2009, Mr Schols took up running to stay fit and lose weight.

Encouraged by his progress, he joined Avon Valley Runners and started entering races across the country.

Mr Schols said: “By 2015 I was smashing times like I never imagined possible.

“I ran the Bath Half Marathon in 81 minutes and at the London Marathon I recorded a time of 2:53:21 to set a new club record for my age group at my running club. I was 53 at the time.”

Soon after the London Marathon, Mr Schols became unwell again with a brain infection and was told that he would need more surgery.

Surgeons had to remove part of his skull as it was badly infected, leaving him with a hole in his skull. Until the hole could be repaired with a titanium plate, he had to wear a protective helmet everywhere he went, even on his runs.

He said: “I had to stay off work but started to run gently as it was my little piece of normality amongst the madness of wearing a helmet everywhere I went, and the mockery that often went with it.”

Mr Schols had his titanium plate fitted in June 2016 and soon returned to training.

“I ran another London Marathon just 10 months after the surgery, finishing in a time of 3 hours 11 minutes and raised money for Brain Tumour Support while doing so.”

Using his own experience of running with a helmet, Mr Schols started planning the Hilly Helmet Challenge.

He said: “This is an opportunity for other people to find out just how hard it was for me when I ran in my helmet, while also helping to raise money for Brain Tumour Support.”

Fancy dress is encouraged and there will be a prize for the best helmet as well as first male and first female finishers.

For more information and to sign up, go to