A MAN from the Ceiriog Valley is taking part in one of the biggest fundraising events in the country.

Gareth Bennett, originally from Dolywern, is running as number 42,214 in this year’s London Marathon on Sunday for MacMillan Cancer Support.

Gareth has decided to run the marathon after a number of his family members and friends have been affected by cancer in recent years, in particular his mum Jan.

It has inspired him to run for family and friends who have a fight with cancer on their hands.

Gareth said: “I have seen how strong people can be when fighting cancer, and if they can do that, then I can put myself through the pain of running 26.2 miles in London.”

Gareth lives in Wrexham and works as a nursing technician at the Wrexham Maelor Hospital and is studying as a student nurse.

Gareth’s father Ralph has been helping him prepare, having completed the London Marathon himself four times, in 1985, 1986, 1989 and 1991. Ralph twice complted the marathon in under the three hours barrier and with a personal best time of 2:54:26.

On March 15 Gareth’s parents Ralph and Jan organised a fun quiz at the Canolfan Ceiriog Centre in Glyn Ceiriog, and they raised £485.

Gareth has previously organised a charity football match and a quiz in Wrexham and the total raised so far including his sponsorship is close to £3,000, smashing his target of £2,500.

Fundraising is hugely important to Macmillan. Without people organising events, running marathons, climbing mountains, and donating in all the other ways that they can, the organisation would not exist.

This year is the 38th annual London Marathon and it is expected there will be more than 40,000 runners race between Blackheath and The Mall.

The Queen will be the official starter for the Virgin Money race, where the Met Office is predicting highs of 16 degree temperatures and scattered showers.

If you would like to support Gareth in his fundraising for MacMillan you can donate by going to www.justgiving.com/gareth-bennett14