One London Marathon runner guaranteed for 2017

Andy Sears, who has owned Andrew’s Quality Meats in Highworth for the past 22 years, will pull on his running shoes for the 26 mile trek in the hope of raising more than £2,500 for the radiotherapy appeal.

It will be Andy’s 14th marathon since he first began running just six years ago.

“I haven’t always been a runner,” Andy confessed. “I just woke up one morning and thought I’d do the London Marathon.”

Having previously fundraised another national charity, Andy decided to complete his next run for Brighter Futures.

“My first experience of marathon running was really good. I was very pleased to do it in under four hours, even though I had to walk the last few miles,” he said.

“Marathons are a bit like marmite. When you finish you either think ‘I’m never doing that again’ or you immediately sign yourself up for another one.”

He will start training properly in January with the aim of running 35 miles each week.

“It will be a very intensive training schedule, but I’m ready for it.”

He is aiming to complete the course in three hours thus just beating the three hours and three minutes he set in Manchester in 2014.

He chose to support Brighter Futures after losing his dad to cancer earlier this year.

As father of two Andy said: “It was just three weeks from dad being diagnosed to him passing away. He was meant to go to Oxford for radiotherapy treatment, but he was too ill. I don’t think he would have made the journey.

“When he died I heard about the radiotherapy appeal and I thought it would be a nice gesture to run for the Brighter Futures team.

“I thought who better to run for than those who are trying to bring a radiotherapy unit to the GWH.”

Speaking about the appeal recently reaching the £1m target, Andy said: “It’s fantastic that they have managed to raise £1m. It just goes to show that every little helps.”