WHEN Jim Whitmarsh lines up for the Portsmouth Coastal Marathon today it will be an impressive landmark – it will be the 100th time the 53-year-old has taken on the gruelling distance.
Jim ran his first marathon in 1999 after being inspired by the death of his 10-month-old nephew Michael Rafferty due to sudden infant death syndrome.
He raised £1,621 for the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths in Matthew’s name and was immediately bitten by the long-distance running bug.
Since then he has racked up more than 2,500 miles in competitive marathons, raising money for a variety of charities along the way.
But for this one, he is returning to FSID – and has already raised more than £4,200 in sponsorship.
The devoted Pompey fan said: ‘I had only ever intended to do the London Marathon as a one-off.
‘Before that I had only ever done 10k runs or half-marathons, things like the Great South Run and the Portsmouth half marathon, so it was a bit of a step up.’
And Jim has actually increased the pace at which he has been totting up the 26 mile races – he has taken part in 88 of them since joining the Eastleigh Running Club in 2005.
Jim, of Hedge End, said: ‘I’m Pompey born and bred, so it is quite fitting that my 100th marathon will be back here.’
The race starts tomorrow at 9.30am near The Pyramids Centre in Southsea, heads up the eastern side of the city, across and down into Hayling Island before turning around and coming back again.
To support Jim go to justgiving.com/angelina-whitmarsh