It’s the final countdown for a group of fundraisers from the West Brom building society who have been putting in the miles in preparation for the Virgin Money London Marathon.
Steve Clark, Nick Trueman, Ruth Holyoake (pictured above) and Mark Rowley work at the society’s head office in West Bromwich and will all be raising vital funds for charity when they take on the challenge on Sunday, 26 April.
Steve has already secured £2,000 for the Royal National Institute of Blind People, inspired by his father-in-law who has lost the sight in one eye and is having pioneering surgery to save the other.
He said: “This represents the biggest challenge of my life. My father-in-law went blind in his right eye 16 years ago. It happened overnight; there were no warning signs. He just woke up one morning and his sight had gone.
“A clot got stuck in a small artery, resulting in the retina being starved of blood flow and oxygen. It’s the equivalent of a stroke in the eye.
“He is now undergoing groundbreaking glaucoma surgery to help preserve the sight in his other eye.”
Nick Trueman is over the finishing line with his aim of raising £1,500 for the Beacon Centre in Sedgley.
Nick said he’d always looked up to people with the mental and physical strength to complete a marathon, and decided it was time to test himself.
“I’ve taken part in fun runs and half marathons but this is ‘the big one’,” he said. “Training has been hard, with the occasional injury, but I’m determined and delighted to be supporting Beacon, which does fantastic work helping visually impaired people live fuller and more independent lives.”
Ruth Holyoake is representing the Saltmine Trust in the marathon and is hoping her running total will be approaching £2,000.
Saltmine is a faith-based charity in Dudley that uses the creative arts to help educate young people, encouraging them to think about the consequences of issues such as drug and alcohol abuse, knife-crime and bullying.
Ruth is fundraising together with her friend and fellow marathon runner Andy Cowdrill. She said: “We’ve certainly put the miles in between us, completing half marathons in Coventry and Brighton, and the Stafford 20 in March.
“Knowing we are running for such a great cause will help us go the extra distance on 26 April.”
And Mark Rowley is running in support of Alzheimer’s Society, motivated by a first-hand experience of living with dementia within his family. He has raised £346 so far.
He said: “Both my nans suffered with dementia in their final years so I want to do my bit to raise awareness and funds on behalf of Alzheimer’s Society. People have given very generously and hopefully that will spur me on for the final few miles of the marathon.”
Anyone wishing to support Steve, Nick, Ruth and Mark can donate online at: