A NURSE is taking on his final marathon to raise funds for a charity which helps seafarers around the world.
Denis Harding, 33, from Southsea will be pounding the pavements along with nearly 40,000 others as part of the Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday, April 28.
He will be running for charity the Sailor's Society which provides support and help for seafarers and their families at ports internationally.
He said: 'I read recently 70 per cent of what we use in the UK is transported by sea and I am conscious that fishermen and the fishing industry is struggling at the moment so I was keen to support it in any way I could.'
London will be Denis’s eighth marathon having completed Stockholm three times, Paris, Brighton and the Portsmouth Coastal marathon twice.
He said: 'I think I did my first marathon because it was a bit of one-upmanship between friends but I actually find it therapeutic and a way of relieving stress as I work as nurse at QA.'
On why he picked the London marathon to be his last he said that to him it is the "number one marathon in the world" and is one of the biggest fundraisers in a single day.
'I am super excited to be doing it,' he added. 'I can’t wait to get out on the streets of London and see all the sights on the route.'
The 26.2-mile course will see runners start in Greenwich and go across Tower Bridge, along the Thames before finishing in the Mall with a view of Buckingham Palace.
The dad of one has been following a strict training plan and completed the Coastal marathon in December. It was due to be his last but wet and muddy conditions meant he was unable to achieve the time he wanted.
He said: 'In the lead up to Portsmouth training was going well but on the day conditions made it very difficult. I'm hoping with London as it is open roads there will be lots of space to run and nice terrain so I’m sure I'll find it more enjoyable.'
Denis, who works in the frailty team in the emergency department at QA, is hoping to do the marathon in under four hours.
To raise more money for his charity, the Royal Naval Club & Royal Albert Yacht Club in Pembroke Road, Old Portsmouth is lending its support.
'I got married at this beautiful venue a couple of years ago so when I decided to run for the Sailor’s Society I got in touch to see if they could help, if any other companies want to help then please let me know.'
To donate and help Denis raise his £2,000 target visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/denis-harding