Marathon men from West Suffolk

Last Gasp duo Mike Wright and Martin Hayes with Tracey Hayes, who inspired their charitable efforts
Last Gasp duo Mike Wright and Martin Hayes with Tracey Hayes, who inspired their charitable efforts
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It is marathon season and four West Suffolk men are among the many thousands nationwide busy training for their big day.

Matthew Kennedy has signed up for the Cambridge half marathon on March 5 while Martin Hayes and Mike Wright have devised a full 26-mile marathon route to complete on April 1 and Daniel Richards is preparing for the London Marathon on April 23.

Weightlifter turned runner Matthew Kennedy

Weightlifter turned runner Matthew Kennedy

Mr Kennedy, of Barrow, has always been a weightlifter and was challenged several months ago to run a kilometre.

“I could not do it,” he said. “So I began to train, small runs at first to build up some cardio fitness then long runs. It was painful being quite a heavy chap but I’ve got fitter and faster.”

The Mildenhall Acas helpline adviser is using his involvement in the event to raise funds for Cancer Research UK.

Close friends Mr Hayes and Mr Wright came up with their 26 mile route after missing out on the draw for this year’s London Marathon.

Daniel Richards with some of the cakes that helped raise further funds for Children with Cancer UK, the charity he will run the  London Marathon for

Daniel Richards with some of the cakes that helped raise further funds for Children with Cancer UK, the charity he will run the London Marathon for

The duo, who call themselves ‘The Last Gasp’, are doing for the My Wish Charity to thank staff at West Suffolk Hospital’s Macmillan Unit for the care and support they gave Mr Hayes’ wife while she underwent treatment for Non-Hodgkins lymphoma last year.

Mr Hayes said: “Watching Tracey undergo her treatment last year was so hard, but the staff were wonderful and I knew I had to give something back. Neither Mike or I have done anything like this before, so it’s taken us over a year to be ready to take on the challenge”

To support them, go to click here or text GASP17 and the amount you would like to donate to 70070.

Mr Richards, of Bury, meanwhile, is embarking on a marathon challenge in aid of Children with Cancer UK.

The 36-year-old, who knows someone who lost their grandson to cancer a few years ago, said he feels ‘blessed’ to have two happy and healthy little boys and wanted to do something for a ‘fantastic’ charity that helps and supports families who are not as lucky.

He is aiming to run 1,000 training miles and thinks he’ll ‘be in bits by the time it’s over’ but says doing it for charity is keeping him motivated.

The Coldrey & Bryant financial planning director organised a coffee and cake sale morning at sister company Abbeygate Wealth Management on Wednesday. To help boost his total, go to click here.