Stonehaven man Johnny Walkden is to take on the London Marathon in April for the second time - in aid of Cancer Research UK.
The 28 year-old, who works for the British Army ,has decided to take on the 26-mile run after initially deciding in 2007 he ‘would never do that again.’’
Johnny told us this week: “This will be the second time I will run the London Marathon. The first was back in 2007 where I raised money for a disabled children’s charity called Get Kids Going.
‘‘I raised over £3000 which helped disabled children get involved in sporting activities.
“After running it back in 2007 I said to myself I would never do that again... but, eight years on, I think it’s time to challenge myself again and run it for another charity that means so much to me.
‘‘My mother was diagnosed with bowel cancer four years ago and my aunt has suffered from breast cancer. Both are doing well and are healthy today after going through operations and treatments.
“I also have friends and family who have lost loved ones to this disease and for me to raise money to try to help find a cure one day would be great - and mean a lot to so many of us.”
Johnny added that he is looking to shave some time off his first run and what he was looking forward to it.
He said: “My training’s going well... I love my running and regularly get the miles under my belt locally around the harbour and coast roads.
‘‘I ran from Stonehaven to Montrose one sunny morning last year, with a short water stop in Inverbervie, so my fitness levels are good and I’m really looking forward to the marathon.
“I’m also looking forward to the amazing crowds and atmosphere in London, no matter how much pain you’re enduring, the crowd keeps you going till the end.
‘‘Knowing I am running for such a good charity, that has affected so many people, will spur me on to complete it with a smile on my face the whole way.
“I ran it in three hours 50 minutes in 2007 and hope to get under the three and half hour mark this year.”
See his story on his virgin money giving page at www.virginmoneygiving.com/JohnnyWalkden