A Finedon man is hoping to complete the London Marathon in under four hours when he runs it for the second time later this month.
Simon Haines, 43, will be pounding the streets of the capital city to raise money for Leonard Cheshire Disability and hopes to inspire his children by his actions.
He said: “I have seen first-hand the amazing work this charity does, and running the marathon for this cause is an honour.
“Last year I raised over £3,000 and this year I am on target to raise the same again.
“Running the marathon started off as a personal goal but four years ago something changed, and instead of saying I’d love to, I said, I WILL.
“My sister-in-law was very poorly, and other friends and family had been struck down with disabilities in the prime of their lives.
“I lost three stone and started running short circuits – even two miles was a struggle initially.
“However, by February 2016 I was up to 20 miles and ready to take part in the marathon that year – unfortunately, I had an injury leading up to the final weeks of training so instead of running I was convalescing after a knee operation!
“I didn’t give up, and the following year, I finished with a time of 4 hours 29 mins.
“This year, with a much tougher training plan, I am on target to finish in under four hours.
“I completed a number of half-marathons and 20-milers along the way, finishing the first Oundle 20-mile race in under three hours just two weeks ago.
“The money I have raised, and continue to raise, has kept me going through the darkest hours of training and it helped me to smash through those infamous marathon walls.
“Having worked with Leonard Cheshire, I am grateful for the things in life that I take for granted, and helping people with disabilities to reach their personal goals is empowering.
“This is my final London marathon, there are so many people who want to take part so I’ll let somebody else take my place next year!
“I have two children, and they will have a medal each – I hope that I have taught them that anything is possible with motivation and hard work and also how lucky I am, and they are, to have the ability to help change lives.
“They have seen my journey, and hope one day they will follow in my footsteps and either run the race themselves or help raise funds for disability charities.”
Simon’s fundraising page can be found here.
Leonard Cheshire Disability helps disabled people in the UK and around the world to fulfil their potential and live the lives they choose.
It believes that every person is equally valued and should have the freedom to live their lives the way they choose: the opportunity and support to live independently, to contribute and participate fully in society.