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Braveheart John Price steps up training for Brighton Marathon

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A HERNE man is preparing for his second marathon just a year after saying he would never put himself through the ordeal again.

John Price, 53, was asked at short notice – four months – by his niece Holly Finch to run with her in last year’s Brighton Marathon and, incredibly, within 16 weeks had increased his running distance from just three miles a week to the full marathon distance of 26 miles.

John and Holly ran the marathon for Cancer Research UK in support of a friend of hers and John’s aunt Margaret, both of whom have passed away, and raised more than £5,000 for the charity.

“After crossing the finishing line last year I declared that I would never put myself through that again,” said John.

Almost a year on, however, he is gearing up for Brighton Marathon 2015, being held on Sunday, April 12, but this time dressed as 13th-century Scottish warrior Braveheart.

“Finding that a couple of really good mates were battling cancer and getting a call from Cancer Research UK asking me to run for them again – we did raise £5,500 for them last year – I decided I must have one more marathon in these old legs, so set about training,” he said.

John, a BT engineer, has lived in Herne for 30 years, the same time he has been married to Caroline.

He has two dogs – Greek stray Pano he rescued from Corfu last Easter and Ruby the Dalmatian – and they were his training partners until they couldn’t cope with the length of the runs.

“I have run a minimum of three times a week come wind, hail, rain and sun and I know I’ve clocked up more than 900 miles since the end of July, mainly running from Herne to Seasalter to Reculver to Beltinge to Herne.

“We really are lucky that it’s so flat and the scenery – apart from the old Thanet Way bit – is lovely, especially the seafront all the way from Seasalter to Reculver.

“A good friend dared me to run in-fancy dress on the promise of a sizeable donation, so I opted for William ‘Braveheart’ Wallace as tribute to my lovely sister, Valerie, who was born in Dunfermline and is now sadly deceased, and to my beloved West Ham’s greatest-ever penalty-taker, Ray Stewart… and because I always fancied running in a kilt

“I’m not sure carrying the 4 ft sword and wooden shield and wearing the wig and face-paint was the wisest decision, but I will finish the run as I started it, although probably half a stone lighter.

“I’ll also possibly be a few inches shorter but with huge satisfaction that we have raised a good amount for a fantastic charity.”

You can contribute to John’s fund-raising effort at www.justgiving.com/John-Price14/.

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