A KEEN runner is taking on a monumental challenge this April in memory of his father, who died following a battle with cancer two years ago.

Mike Hobbs, 40, from Northleach, is training hard for the London marathon this year and is running it in for his dad, James, who died from bowel cancer in 2012.

As a former fitness instructor, Mike admits he has run a few marathons in the past with his father but that he has never run the London marathon before.

“My dad was a lifelong runner, who always used to run his favourite 10-mile route on his birthday,” said Mike.

“He never got to do the London marathon but this year, the race falls on his 64th birthday so I’m running it in his name.”

Mike is fundraising for the charity Beating Bowel Cancer, which raises awareness of the disease and helps provide support for families affected by it.

“After I saw what my dad went through I thought that if I could just help one person through running the London marathon, then something positive will have come out of it,” continued Mike.

“Sometimes people get symptoms for the cancer but don’t seek medical advice possibly because they’re embarrassed.

"Bowel cancer affects one in nine people and I really want to make people more aware of it.”

With only 10 weeks until the marathon itself, Mike is consistently persistently training and running around 50 miles a week.

He receives a lot of support from his wife Domonique, who is going to London to cheer him along on race day on April 13, and his two young daughters Lucinda and Amalea.

Mike is also working hard to raise £2,000 for Beating Bowel Cancer from sponsors. He has secured £700 so far.

“Me and my brothers used to play darts in the pub a lot with dad so we’re thinking of having a charity darts night to fundraise further,” said Mike.

Visit justgiving.com/Mike-Hobbs1 to support Beating Bowel Cancer and help Mike reach his goal.