A former army engineer from Storrington is putting his forces training to the test in the London Marathon next month.
Shaun Sullivan, 30, left the Royal Army at the end of 2013 and he will be running the marathon on April 26 in memory of his friend Peter ‘Gus’ Johnson who died of cancer.
He said: “He died back in 2008. He was the inspiration for joining the army. Leukaemia Care is the first port of call for anyone who has leukaemia.
“Me and him - we had a really good chat and he asked me ‘what do you want in your life’.
“I was 25 and doing something I didn’t want to do. He said you can going out and get it if you want it.
“He died when he was 46 before his time hence why he said go out a grab it.”
Shaun’s forces training included trekking with heavy back packs in the moors. He also spent six months of his army career in Afghanistan.
He hopes all this will help him with the mental challenge posed by the marathon.
“In the army I have jogged for a good 30 miles. It’s not the same amount of pace, I’ve never done that distance running before. I thought it was a good thing to do.”
He started his training before Christmas, but it soon came to a halt because of previous injuries from rugby and military duty.
But after undergoing intensive physiotherapy he is back on track to take part in UK’s biggest running event, which marks its 35th anniversary this year.
To warm up he did the Steyning Stinger last month.
To sponsor him got to uk.virginmoneygiving.com/shaunsullivan and to find out more about the work of Leukaemia Care go to www.leukaemiacare.org.uk