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Chester and Cheshire runners are ready for the London Marathon

Here's a closer look at some of runners from our area

Thousands of runners will take to the streets of the capital this weekend for the Virgin Money London Marathon including many runners from Cheshire.

As part of the build-up to the event, we’ve taken a closer look at some of the runners from Chester and Cheshire who will be taking on the 26 mile route on Sunday, April 23.

John Sowden from Chester

Chester dad John Sowden is running for Claire House:

John Sowden is running his fourth London Marathon in memory of his young daughter Emily Ffion who passed away suddenly in November 2013 from acute viral bronchiolitis, aged 21 months.

John and wife Sara of Parkgate Road have since raised more than £20,000 for Claire House Children’s Hospice, where Emily rested after she passed away.

John, 38, who is also father to Charlie, eight, and Lucie, two, said: “Following the tragic and sudden loss of Emily, Sara and I were offered the use of the beautiful Butterfly Suite at Claire House.

“Having Emily rest there and giving us the opportunity to spend time with her made the whole trauma of losing her a little easier to cope with.

“Claire House will always be very close to our hearts and to be given the opportunity to raise even more money for them by running the London Marathon is a huge honour.”

To support John please visit: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/runforanangel

Keith O'Neil

Keith O’Neil running for the MND Association:

Keen runner Keith O’Neil, a self-employed plumber from Weaverham, will take on his biggest challenge yet when he competes in the London Marathon to raise funds for the Cheshire branch of the MND Association in memory of family friend and former Barnton parish councillor Frank Casey who died from the disease.

The 31-year-old, who will be cheered on by fiancée Jyl Edwards and parents Frank and Anne, said: “Even though my friends said I was mad to take on this challenge while also planning my wedding in June, I am determined to complete it. I am a little nervous but know I have been training hard for this. The best feeling is going to be finishing the race and knowing I have helped raise a lot of money for the charity.”

Keith has already raised £1,000 for the branch and is appealing for further donations to help him raise as much as possible.

To sponsor Keith visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/keithoneil-london2017 or email fjplumbing@hotmail.co.uk.

Chester FC under 13s coach Paul Brighton

Paul Brighton will take on the challenge in aid of Whizz-Kidz charity:

Chester FC youth coach Paul is running his first ever marathon to raise funds for children’s charity Whizz-Kidz who provide young people with a physical disability with wheelchairs, trikes and buggies to give them independence.

Paul from Broughton, who is married to Emma and has two daughters Laura, 10, and Naomi, six, said: “I’m inspired by the work that Whizz-Kidz do providing disabled children and young people with vital mobility equipment, opportunities to meet and have fun, and training to help them gain skills and look forward to a brighter future.

“I’m fortunate to be the father of two daughters who are able enjoy everyday activities and this gives me the chance to give something back to those less fortunate.”

If you’d like to support Paul you can donate at: whizz-kidz-london-marathon17.everydayhero.com/uk/paul-5

Cheshire MP Edward Timpson and Weaver Vale MP Graham Evans

MPs Graham Evans and Edward Timpson:

Sixteen MPs are taking part in this year’s London Marathon including Graham Evans, MP for Weaver Vale who will line up for his sixth consecutive London Marathon and Cheshire MP Edward Timpson.

The pair will run in support of Muscular Dystrophy UK and the Army Benevolent Fund – The Soldiers’ Charity.

Graham, who ran a personal best of 4:25:36 in 2016, said: “I always look forward to this day, it’s such a very special atmosphere.

“This is the best marathon in the world in the best city in the world.”

Georgia Woods (Image: Grayling)

Animal nurse Georgia Woods:

Georgia, who works at the Small Animal Teaching Hospital in Neston, is running for Phab Kids, a charity that inspires and supports children and adults with and without disabilities to make more of a life together.

To support Georgia visit: https:// www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Georgia-Woods1

University of Chester student Lesley Greenwood

University of Chester student Lesley Greenwood:

Lesley Greenwood from Malpas is taking on the challenge of her first marathon at the age of 52 after losing an impressive three stone in weight.

Lesley said: “After turning 50 I was looking at some photographs of myself and I didn’t like what I saw. My blood pressure was also high and I decided I needed to do something to change my life.”

Lesley is running for The Lord Taverners, the UK’s leading youth cricket and disability sports charity dedicated to giving disadvantaged and disabled young people a sporting chance.

To support her visit: https:// www.justgiving.com/fundraising/lesley-greenwood5?utm_id=25

Graham Tyson

Graham Tyson running for Leukaemia CARE:

Graham Tyson, a 55 year-old salesman from Chester, will be taking on the famous 26.2 mile course in aid of Leukaemia CARE, a charity which offers support to patients, carers and health care professionals.

Graham has a personal connection to the charity as his wife Julie was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia in 2000. She continues to be well with the treatment she receives.

This will be Graham’s sixth London Marathon having previously run for a range of other blood cancer charities, raising in total £26,000.

If you’d like to donate to Graham’s fundraising page, head here: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/GRAHAM-TYSON1

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