A FITNESS instructor at a Burton leisure centre has been pounding the streets in preparation for his first ever London Marathon.
Jamie Fletcher had always said he wanted to complete the 26.2-mile run before he was 30, and with his 29th birthday just around the corner, he felt now was the perfect time to tackle the gruelling course.
The Meadowside Leisure Centre worker is using the challenge to raise money for sufferers of Dravet Syndrome, a rare form of epilepsy that begins in infancy.
Mr Fletcher told the Mail: “A close friend’s son has been diagnosed with the illness, so I wanted to raise money for them and help build awareness of the charity as not many people have heard of it.
“I’m already highly motivated, but knowing I’m raising money for such a good cause makes it easy to keep going on long runs.”
Dravet Syndrome affects roughly one in 30,000 births and is characterised by multiple seizures which are often life-threatening.
Mr Fletcher was inspired to take part in the marathon by his dad, who has completed it several times.
With just over three months to go until the big day, his training is in full swing.
He said: “I’ve been building up my mileage by doing medium to long runs, with a weekly long run at 10 to 20 per cent slower than my goal marathon pace.
“I started training on December 18, which gives me plenty of time to build up.”
Only halting his training due to the recent bad weather, Mr Fletcher’s schedule has been non-stop, and his hard work has helped him build up to 19-mile runs to date.
“It’s not in my nature to be modest, but I know I have to put the effort in if I want to do justice to the cause,” Mr Fletcher added.
To follow his progress go to Facebook.com/meadowside.leisurecentre