Mark’s marathon challenge

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The owner of a hair salon in Eastbourne will be put through his paces when he takes on the challenge of running the London Marathon next month.

Mark Collins said he was nervous about taking part in the 26 mile race for the first time but is pleased to be raising funds for Macmillan Cancer Support.

The 37-year-old, who has owned the Toni&Guy salon in Cornfield Road, Eastbourne, for 11 years has been given a boost by customers who have donated to the cause.

The business has also held a series of raffles to help raise further funds for the charity.

He said, “Toni&Guy has been working together with Macmillan for 18 months now, helping people in difficult situations.

“We opened a children’s ward in King’s College recently to help the foundation.”

Mark, who lives in Angmering, has been training for the marathon for a while but is looking forward to putting his feet up afterwards.

He said, “I’m not really a runner. This is my first marathon so I hope it’ll be okay.

“I ran the Eastbourne half-marathon and survived.”

In preparation for the event Mark has been running 28 miles a week for the last few months but said he was finding it difficult to make time around his busy schedule at work.

He added, “I am looking forward to getting this over with, it’s not going to be easy.

“But then, it’s all for a good cause, so I don’t mind.

“After this you won’t catch me running for a bus - my running days will be over!”

Mark will be joining thousands of people on April 21 for the London Marathon challenge.

The course is largely flat and take entrants around the River Thames before finishing in The Mall alongside St James’s Park.

The London Marathon began in 1981 and more than 20,000 people applied to run with 6,747 accepted and 6,255 crossing the finish line.

Anyone who would like to support Mark can make a donation at the salon in Cornfield Road.