RINGWOOD North resident John Cowley has gathered a team to tackle the City2Surf running event in Sydney as a tribute to his best friend.
Mr Cowley explains the creation of Team Gary (V-MAN) arose from the positive impact his best mate Gary Andrews had on the lives of many people and the desire to honour his memory with an activity that was close to his heart.
Mr Andrews died from esophageal cancer last September, just 12 weeks after he was diagnosed.
The team, which includes Gary's wife Basia, have decided to run the 14 kilometres to raise money for the Australian Cancer Research Foundation.
Mrs Andrews was pregnant at the time of her husband's death and daughter Grayce was born 25 days after he died.
"The involvement in the City2Surf while supporting a great charity has also given us all a chance to once more share stories about Gaz and celebrate his life while challenging ourselves and raising a bit of money," Mr Cowley says.
The team now has 29 runners including the Andrews' eldest son Cam, who ran the event with him in the past, and has already exceeded its fund-raising target of $2000.
Mrs Andrews said: "Gary would be cacking himself if he could see me because I have never run before in my life. "It is nice to be able to do something concrete and raise some money for the cure or prevention of cancer."
The City2Surf is being held on August 12.
To donate to Team Gary (V-MAN) visit fundraise.city2surf.com.au/hero_pages/view_posts/team_gary_vman.