A MEARNS man plans to mark his 50th year this month by running the London Marathon.
Nick Targontsidis, who lives with his family at Northill Park, near Laurencekirk, has taken part in several runs in the past to raise money for charity, but April 22 will see him compete in his first marathon.
He said: “I have not done a marathon before so it is a great challenge for me. I felt after years of running shorter distances that I wanted to see if I had a marathon in me, or more importantly if my legs still had it in them!! I guess now that I have reached 50 this is one of those things I wanted to do if I could.
“I have found that the greatest challenge in preparing for a marathon is finding the time (and motivation) to get out and run for hours at a time to get the distances in. Anyone driving around the area early on a Sunday morning recently will probably have passed me as I put the miles in. Generally I run alone but I have also had great support from the Laurencekirk Running Group who I have been training with on a Tuesday evening.”
Nick previously raised £1600 for Epilepsy Research by taking part in the Great North Run in 2009 and 2010, and was lined up to tackle the London Marathon in 2011, but surgery on his knee prevented him from taking part.
Now Nick is ready to take on the challenge and he has chosen to support homelessness charity Shelter, as he has “high regard” for the work they do.
He added: “I think in the current economic climate that the work that Shelter does to support homeless people and campaign against bad housing is very important and I am happy to use my participation in the London Marathon to raise funds for them.
Shelter is a charity that works to alleviate the distress caused by homelessness and bad housing.
They do this by giving advice, information and advocacy to people in housing need, and by campaigning for lasting political change to end the housing crisis for good.
Shelter tackles the root causes of bad housing by lobbying government and local authorities for new laws and policies, and more investment, to improve the lives of homeless and badly-housed people.
Nick has so far raised over £1700, to sponsor him visit his Virgin Money Giving page at http://www.virginmoneygiving.com/NickTargontsidis