The manager of a football club will pull on his trainers on Sunday (September 27) and take part in his first marathon in aid of causes close to his heart.
Paul Downs, the manager of Stamford Belvedere, will be taking on the Nottingham Marathon in aid of Cancer Research UK and Stamford-based charity Dosh4Defibs.
Paul’s aunt lost her battle with cancer, while Stamford Bels club member Nick Bryan died of a heart attack in July while out jogging, aged 49.
Paul said: “When my Aunt Jen was diagnosed two-and-a-half years ago, I decided to get off the couch, get myself fit and do something to help.
“I was also inspired by a cousin who told me at a family party that he had plans to run nine marathons in the next year. Well, I thought, I can at least do one.
“Nick’s death then persuaded me to add contributing to a defibrillator which is crucial in saving lives.”
Paul, who lives in Stamford, whose weight has dropped from 17 stone to 14 and a half, completed the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge last year and over the last few weeks, has been undergoing a rigorous training schedule as he prepares for Sunday’s marathon.
The 40-year-old married father of two is out five nights a week completed a 20-mile run in preparation.
As his first big test, Paul completed the Kimbolton half marathon a fortnight ago, finishing 255th in a field of around 800 - and 65th in his age group. Paul was delighted with his time of 1 hour, 56 minutes. It was the first time he had competed in such an event since he took part in the Great Eastern half marathon when he was 17, completing that in a time of 1 hour 38 minutes.
People have already pledged £800 to Paul’s target of £2,000.
“That is a wonderful start,” he added, explaining that the eventual total will be split between the two charities.
To sponsor Paul, text DDFP99£_ 70070