The Lings Marathon Man
CLICK HERE TO DONATE TO PAUL VIA JUST GIVING
26 miles. 35,000 people. £10,000. That's the challenge ahead of Lings Director Paul Barkshire, who is hard at work training for the 2017 London Marathon in order to raise funds for Children with Cancer UK.
As a complete newcomer to running - in fact as a self-confessed 'jog-phobic' who didn't even enjoy the pursuit - Paul nonetheless has taken up the gauntlet and can now be regularly spotted running around his hometown of Attleborough in Norfolk as he ramps up his training toward the daunting road race.
The London Marathon is often talked about as one of the hardest road marathons in the world - even among the super-fit athletes who take part - for 54 year-old Paul there is a whole added drive to prove that whatever your age or experience, anything is possible!
That might be enough to keep anyone on the safer side of life, but Paul has embraced all challenges in front of him. Paul 'relaxes' (if it can be called that) with off-road motorcycle riding, and has twice taken part in the legendary Weston Beach Race. As part of the Lings Powerboat Race Team he helped Navigate the team to a 225cc World Championship win in their debut season - proof if any were needed that he embraces extreme pursuits with abandon...though he admits the Marathon is on another level.
Paul (far left) at last weeks Lings Hyundai opening
"Once it was confirmed I had secured a place for the famous London Marathon, for me It was extremely emotional and humbling and I committed myself to ensuring two things " says Paul "One: to raise as much money as I could for Children with Cancer; doing what little bit I could to kick this nasty little critter into touch once and for all and two: My personal battle to build myself up for this gruelling but exciting event and a once in a lifetime challenge, that in my mind is up there with anything I have tasked myself to do. I must add that the level of support I have got from family, friends and colleagues has been brilliant, and is fuelling my determination to succeed."
Children with Cancer UK, inaugurated in 1988 by Diana Princess of Wales, is the leading national children's charity dedicated to the fight against childhood cancer.
Almost 4,000 children and young people are diagnosed with cancer every year in the UK - the biggest killer of children by far in the UK. The charity aims to determine the causes, find cures and provide care for children with cancer.
"It's an amazing charity that I'm so proud to have been chosen to represent. As a father and now a Grandfather you can't help but be moved and stunned by the stories of resilience and love from beneficiaries of the charity. It's a big fund-raising target I'm aiming for but this will make a huge difference. Any amount, no matter how small you may think it is, will mean the world to me personally and the charity. Together I know we can smash the target..and then it's just on me to deliver on the running!"
As a big family man and grandparent the charity really set a fire under Paul's training efforts. It's therefore fitting that the 2017 Marathon will take place on they day of his 34th wedding anniversary, and Paul's family - both at work and at home - are right behind him!
The Virgin Money London Marathon will take place on Sunday, April 23rd.
You can sponsor Paul through JustGiving where he will also be chronicling his progress toward the big day. Alternatively you can pledge in person by visiting him at Lings Motor Group Lowestoft on Riverside Road.
DISCOVER MORE ABOUT CHILDREN WITH CANCER UK HERE