London is calling for one Basingstoke runner who will become a man on a mission as he takes part in this year’s marathon, writes Matthew Brown.
Richard Pilbeam will pound the streets of the capital alongside tens of thousands of fellow athletes in a week’s time.
He is running in aid of the Ark Cancer Charity – an illness that is close to his heart having lost a grandmother and mother-in-law to the disease.
The 38-year-old father of two is determined to raise £1,000 for the charity.
He said: “I have seen, and experienced, the stress and anxiety that a person receiving treatment for cancer and their family go through.
“I want to do something for the Ark Cancer Charity and the cancer treatment centre project.
“The new centre will make a big difference to cancer patients and their loved ones in terms of the care and support that will be provided with, so I am delighted to be taking on this marathon challenge and raising money for the charity’s £5million appeal.”
Richard, who lives in Chineham, has been training hard. He has already run some half-marathons and long distance events in preparation for April 23 and says he feels in good shape.
A keen Basingstoke Town fan, Richard will be collecting donations during their home game against Cinderford this Saturday to boost his fundraising drive.
Mark Jones, director of fundraising at Ark Cancer Charity, said: “We are grateful to Richard for this marathon fundraising effort.
“He is our first ever Virgin London Marathon runner and hopefully he will receive plenty of support over the coming weeks as he seeks to reach his fundraising goal.”
The new cancer treatment centre is earmarked to be built in Basingstoke and Deane, with a preferred site near to junction 7 of the M3.
It is being largely funded by the Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
Anyone who wants to support Richard should visit goodexchange.com and search for ‘Richard Pilbeam’.