Runner will be Irthlingborough charity’s first representative in London Marathon

John with the Chelsea's Angels team
John with the Chelsea's Angels team

A man is set to run the London Marathon after struggling to get a place in the ballot for 10 years.

John McCabe has secured a place for the annual event through the Irthlingborough-based charity Chelsea’s Angels.

John is running the London Marathon for Chelsea's Angels

John is running the London Marathon for Chelsea's Angels

The charity was set up in memory of Chelsea Knighton, who was diagnosed with childhood cancer neuroblastoma in 2007 at the age of two and lost her brave fight in August 2009.

John said: “I have wanted to do the London Marathon for 10 years, applying every year only to be rejected.

“Well all that changed when Chelsea’s Angels selected me to be their first charity representative in the London Marathon.

“These guys have shown great faith in me to raise money for the charity so they can bring smiles to children and their families who are battling childhood cancer.

John is supporting Chelsea's Angels

John is supporting Chelsea's Angels

“Now it’s time for me to repay that faith by first of all running the thing and trying to raise as much as possible.”

John’s training started by becoming a member of Northampton Parkrun, followed by building the runs up as the weather got colder.

After Christmas he had a 16-week plan to get ready for the 26.2 miles and the first eight weeks went well.

But after picking up an injury, he lost four weeks of running and had to resort to using an exercise bike to keep himself ticking over until his injury had healed.

With less than two weeks to go until the marathon on April 22, John’s injury is much better and he is gearing up for the big day.

He said: “My foot feels a lot better and having researched foot injuries extensively I am now able to run again and my training is back to a level which will enable me to complete the marathon with possibly some speed walking or just plain slow walking, basically whatever it takes to make the finishing line where members of the charity will be there to greet me when I finish.”

And he added: “Following the selection to represent the charity in the marathon, myself and my wife were asked if we would like to become members of the charity team.

“It’s an offer which we accepted with great pride and although finishing the marathon and raising money for the charity will be a massive achievement for me, helping the charity prepare and carry out the fundraising events and deliver care packs to children in hospital gives me a greater sense of achievement and pride.”

Chelsea’s Angels was set up to raise funds for families whose children have been diagnosed with neuroblastoma and other cancers classed as rare.

The charity’s aim is to ease the financial and emotional pressures of living with a child suffering from these cancers.

Anyone who wants to sponsor John can make a donation by clicking here

He has already raised more than £330 but has set himself a target of £1,250.