Marathon challenge inspired by little Seb, 4

Simon Whitmore will be running to raise funds for a charity with helps families of children with cancer
Simon Whitmore will be running to raise funds for a charity with helps families of children with cancer
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THREE men are hoping to raise lots of charity funds by taking part in the London Marathon on April 17.

One of them, Tim Artus, 38, is looking to break a world record on the day by carrying a 40lb backpack.

Tim, of Stephenson Way, Bourne, was inspired to take on the challenge to raise money for the RAF Benevolent Fund and so far has raised £1,500.

Tim, who is a flight lieutenant in the RAF, said: “The current record is four hours and 42 minutes and I believe I will break four hours.”

Tim has been training hard for the challenge since September with runs around town, at work and in Bourne Wood.

Bristol-born Tim said: “I have regularly run 21 miles with full weight and boots, and look to be running 24 to 26 miles prior to the race.”

Tim has completed eight marathons including the London event five times. His best marathon time is two hours and 35 minutes.

To sponsor Tim visit www.uk.virginmoneygiving.com/TimArtus or e-mail him at tim.artus@cranwell.raf.mod.uk to arrange sending a cheque.

Paul Neehuis, 27, of Cheviot Close, Oakham, will run the marathon on April 17 to raise money for Loros, the Leicestershire and Rutland hospice.

Paul gave up smoking at New Year and signed up for the marathon to spur himself on.

He said: “I saw that they were appealing for runners and thought I would like a personal challenge. I’ve never done something like this before.

“Loros is a great charity. We might all need it some day.”

Paul works as a barman in Calico Bar and Kitchen in Mill Street, Oakham, and has already had a lot of support from the regulars.

He has already gained sponsorship from Oakham Wines in High Street. If you would also like to sponsor him visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/djneenoo or call 07891 125019.

Simon Whitmore, of Sweetbriars, Stamford, will be running the marathon to help children’s charity, CandleLighters.

The charity has provided invaluable support and help to four-year-old Seb Murphy who is fighting the disease.

Seb is the son of Simon’s friends Ben and Helen, who live in Leeds.

Simon said: “It is difficult to imagine how awful it is when your four-year-old son is going through something like that.

“CandleLighters have given invaluable support to our friends and their poorly little boy and do amazing work in supporting families of children with cancer.

“It is a terrible thing for anyone to go through. Families in this situation rely on support and help they can get.”

Simon, who lives with wife Emma and their two children Lilly, five and one-year-old Sam, is no stranger to marathons and already has three under his belt.

The 37-year-old tackled London in 2002 and Stockholm a year later and then completed a marathon in Paris last year.

He is hoping to cross the finish line on The Mall in 3hr 50min after completing the Paris event in four hours.

Simon’s training is already well under way and is doing daily runs with a longer one at the weekend.

He said: “Training is going OK so far. I think London is one of the greatest supported events. It’s fantastic with the crowds.”

If anyone would like to support Simon go to: www.justgiving.com/Simon-Whitmore