Fundraisers across the area are preparing to tackle the London Marathon in aid of charities close to their hearts.
The event is the world’s largest annual fundraising event with tens of thousands of runners taking on the gruelling 26.2mile route for a host of good causes.
This year’s event will take place on April 13 and among those taking part will be David Mann and his friend Dan Sumpton.
David, 48, was inspired to get fit after “badgering” from friends that he was probably drinking too much. He entered the marathon after watching it on television last year.
“I ran half a mile and was sick, that’s how unfit I was,” said the lorry driver, who lives in Primrose Way, Stamford.
“But I was determined, so I cut down on chocolates and beer and kept going.”
He has chosen to raise funds for Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice’s £6m appeal to build a new hospice. His wife Alison is head carer there so he knows the work they do.
David has already lost three stone as part of his training.
David, who will be running the marathon with friend Dan Sumpton, from Stamford, who is a prison teacher, said he was very grateful to the businesses that have sponsored him including Westside Gym, Tony Spice, The Tobie Norris, Steve Makey at Rutland Water Golf and The Haycock Hotel.
To sponsor David’s run for Thorpe Hall go to www.virginmoneygiving.com/fatmenrunning
Felicity Beavis, of West Road, Bourne, will run her first marathon in aid of the deafblind charity Sense, where she works as a carer.
The 22-year-old said: “I’ve enjoyed running since I was 14 and always thought I was capable of running long distances so thought it was time I did something about it.
“I’ve seen the good work Sense does and know my sponsorship will make a big difference.”
Felicity’s training includes a 16-mile run at weekends and two 10-mile runs during the week along with training sessions at the gym.
She has been offered free use of the facilities at A2B Fitness in Bourne and advice from personal trainer Dave Jones, of Rotation Fitness.
Happy Faces at Glinton is also hosting a fundraising event on March 16 with messy play and Mother’s Day crafts to help Felicity reach her £1,500 target.
Donations can be made at www.justgiving.com/felicitymarathon
Petty Officer Kevin Wright, 33, from Oakham, will be running for Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, because his mum Pauline, also from Oakham, knew people who had benefited from its services.
Kevin’s training started with regular workouts in the gym of his ship HMS Argyll while he was on a seven-month tour of duty last year.
“Training in different temperatures was quite an experience,” said Kevin, who has been in the Royal Navy for 15 years. His deployments have included the West Coast of Africa, Falklands and South America.
Kevin, of Graffham Drive, Oakham, has already raised £1,944 of the £2,000 target, through events on the ship and the support of colleagues.
To add your backing visit www.justgiving.com/Kevin-Wright6
Oundle School pupil Angus Dowie, 17, will be running to support the charity MS-UK while schoolfriend Alexander Johnsen, 18, will be bidding to aid the Migraine Trust.
Both boys have chosen their respective charities because they know people who have suffered from the conditions.
To support them visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/angusdowie and www.justgiving.com/aj-johnsen.
Oundle School History teacher Alex Brighton is also running the marathon and is aiming to beat his 3hr record from Seville.