Marathon men on their marks

PUBLISHED: 15:00 24 January 2008 | UPDATED: 15:38 11 May 2010

Darren Harward

Darren Harward

DARREN Harward is working hard to brush up on his fitness as he prepares to run in this year s Flora London Marathon. Painter and decorator Mr Harward, of Masefield Way, Royston, is raising money for the Western Centre at Addenbrooke s Hospital. He said:

Danny Cook

DARREN Harward is working hard to brush up on his fitness as he prepares to run in this year's Flora London Marathon.

Painter and decorator Mr Harward, of Masefield Way, Royston, is raising money for the Western Centre at Addenbrooke's Hospital.

He said: "The Western Centre is where children with cancer and diabetes go before they get their weekly medication.

"I know a couple of children with diabetes who use it, and there isn't a lot there for them in terms of games and equipment.

"The money I raise will all go to the centre so that they can hopefully make the children's visits a bit more enjoyable."

Mr Harward is undertaking an 18-week training programme ahead of the marathon, which takes place on April 13.

He said: "I'm going out running every day after work, and am gradually building up the distance I run.

"I did my first 10-mile last week, and am planning to do 12 miles this Saturday.

"I've never done any serious running before, so it's been pretty hard going."

Mr Harward would like to hear from any businesses or individuals interested in sponsoring him for the race.

He can be contacted on 01763 222978.

You can also make contributions online, by visiting www.act4addenbrookes.org.uk and clicking on make a donation.

It is a race against time for an injury beset ­Melbourn man training for the London Marathon.

Danny Cook, 35, is ­taking on the famous course on behalf of the charity Mencap, seeking to raise more than £1,600 in sponsorship.

On a fitness drive since August, injury befell him when he twisted both ankles in separate ­incidents during ­training.

But Mr Cook remains determined to beat his bad luck and take part in April's race.

He said: "I was running eight miles three times a week, my fitness was good, and I was ahead of schedule.

"Training was going really well, and this is a big set-back.

"But these injuries aren't going to stop me doing the marathon.

"I'm having ­physiotherapy and swimming a mile twice a week to keep my fitness levels up, and I'm ­aiming to run it, but I'll walk if I have to."

There is also the matter of his pledge to Mencap, who approached him to run for them, and who he does not want to let down.

Mr Cook has raised nearly £1,000 already through ­donations from friends, work colleagues, and business ­contacts, but is £600 short of the minimum target.

Mr Cook, inspired to enter by friends who ran last year, said: "It's been a challenge on two fronts, raising the money, and getting fit.

"I'm a sporty person, but I've got no running background. I've never done a marathon before."

Anyone who would like sponsor Mr Cook should visit www.justgiving.com/dannycook.

All money given to Mr Cook via this website goes directly to Mencap, while ensuring that nothing pledged is lost to tax.

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