Gloucestershire Airport’s operations director, Darren Lewington swaps the runway for his running shoes next week as he hopes to complete his second London Marathon.

The 45-year old from Brockworth was so inspired when his partner Kim Davenport ran the event in 2013 that it became a ‘bucket list’ ambition. Having secured a charity place in 2014 and completing the event in a modest 5 hours 40 minutes, he successfully scooped a public ballot place this year and will line up with 37 000 others to pound the 26.2 mile course around the capital’s famous landmarks on Sunday 24th April. He’s hoping to improve on his time and is again raising sponsorship for Gloucestershire-based aviation charity Fly2help.

Darren said: – “Fly2help provides ‘Air Smiles’ days for those in need, be it through illness, bereavement, disability or hardship. These days feature a behind-the-scenes insight to life at the airport and a flight in an aircraft. Their ‘Aim High’ educational programme also encourages youngsters to consider careers in aviation and we’ve been proud to hold our twice-yearly scholarship week at Staverton.”

Darren added; – “I joined Cheltenham-based running club Almost Athletes and began a 30-week training programme in the autumn, running 4 days, and up to 40 miles per week, sometimes including a lap or two of the airfield perimeter when the Airport is closed. I’d assumed that my second marathon would be easier but, with a sedentary lifestyle and penchant for beer and chocolate, the fact is there’s no easy way to prepare. It’s been very hard work training through the winter but I’m enjoying it and looking forward to the event.

I’m really proud to be running for fly2help. Having spent my entire career in aviation, I often take for granted what a difference flying can make to people who need support the most. We’ve hosted a number of ‘Air Smiles’ days for fly2help and seeing families being able to forget their hardships through flight is wonderful.”

You can sponsor Darren at www.virginmoneygiving.com/DarrenLewington