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Castle Bytham casual runner who lost mum and brother to cancer to tackle London Marathon for Macmillan Cancer Support

A casual runner is aiming to push his powers of endurance to the limit at the world's biggest marathon as he targets a hefty sum for a cancer charity close to his heart.

John Pridgeon is running the London Marathon on Sunday, October 3 for Macmillan Cancer Support with his friend Andy Wilson and has been tasked with raising £10,000 for his charity place.

With the help of friends, they are organising a big family fundraiser at their village local, the Fox and Hounds, in Castle Bytham, on Saturday, September 11.

John Pridgeon (left) and Andy Wilson are working their way to marathon fitness
John Pridgeon (left) and Andy Wilson are working their way to marathon fitness

The cause has particular significance for John, 53, who has lost his brother, mother, mother-in-law and recently a close friend to cancer.

"Macmillan is really close to me heart because I have had quite a few family members die from cancer," he said.

"I think everyone knows someone who has been or will be touched by this awful disease. They are a really good cause who do fantastic work.

"Many charitable organisations have had a really tough time over the last 18 months so there was no hesitation when the opportunity came up."

John began running about four years ago to lose weight, and has gone on to complete triathlons, but a couple of hilly half-marathon remain the furthest distance he has run.

Training is intensifying to turn himself from someone who 'likes to run for fun with my dog', to a marathon runner.

Yet he admits raising £10k is almost as daunting as putting one foot in front of another for 26.2 miles.

"It's good to have a stretch goal," he added.

"It's all about the journey of getting to the start line. We have had an awful lot of fun just putting the fundraising day together.

"No matter how much pain I'm in on the course, I will come back from that, but a lot of people who need Macmillan don't and that's why they are so important to so many people."

The family day runs from 3pm to 10pm and features a concert, with three acts so far confirmed - Uffington singer/songwriter Vince Dean, from Uffington, Oakham four-piece Figure of 8, featuring guest vocalist Sharron Marriott, and Castle Bytham band Uninvited Guests.

There will also be a comedian as well as less polished humour in a Dad's Worst Jokes' set, while the pub is putting on a barbecue with proceeds going to boost John's tally.

A charity auction is also being held with lots including -

  • Helicopter lesson
  • Luxury boat charter
  • Health and beauty pamper packages
  • Clay shooting event
  • Overnight stays and dining experiences
  • A man slave for a day

* For more details on the family day, visit www.facebook.com/thefoxcastlebytham/ and to donate, go to https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JohnPridgeon

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