A local man is training hard for the London Marathon next weekend in aid of Salcombe RNLI.
Chris Drew, 36, from Salcombe has lived locally his whole life, and is a manager of a local holiday home company.
Chris has been training hard for the last six months, using the rugged and trying terrain of the South West Coast Path, not to mention the punishing hills around Salcombe, to increase his fitness and stamina ahead of the event.
Chris said: “I am sure the training in south Devon will put me in good stead for the London roads. I have run up the hill in South Sands countless times now and I’ll be very unlucky if London has such a hill! It is a killer!’
The RNLI is a charity close to Chris’ heart, with both friends and colleagues giving their time to the service. The Salcombe RNLI has 34 local crew members, 32 of which are volunteers, including two of Chris’s work colleagues.
“From a young age growing up in Salcombe I have seen the boat go back and forth on many shouts, helping so many people in their moments of peril,” Chris said.
“I have so many friends on the crew that I respect and admire so much - people who volunteer their time and risk their own lives to save others. I have no sea legs so I hope by doing this it can be my way of saying ’thank you’ to all who serve.”
Chris aims to raise £1,000 for the local charity while completing this gruelling challenge, which he describes as being far beyond anything he has ever done before.
The Salcombe Rugby Club player, who is more used to donning his rugby boots than trainers, is determined to complete the marathon.
He said: “The fear of not being able to do it gives me sleepless nights, but whether I run, walk or crawl around the course, I will do it.”
Chris Winzar, coxswain of Salcombe RNLI, said: “Chris Drew has been a good friend to many of our current volunteer crew and we much appreciate the amazing effort, sacrifice and preparation he is putting into supporting RNLI Salcombe Lifeboats. We thank him for his continued support.”
Looking ahead to the event, Chris added: “I don’t plan to race against the clock – I just aim to complete it and enjoy the day (as much as I can). This is a one-time ‘tick off the bucket list’ challenge and a chance to raise some money for the Salcombe RNLI.”
Karen Jones, director at Coast and Country Cottages - the company where Chris works, said: “We are delighted that Chris is running the London Marathon to raise money for Salcombe RNLI and wish him luck on completing this challenge. We love to be involved in the community, supporting many local events and raising funds for local charities and are very proud of the commitment that Chris and other members of our team are making towards this vital service in Salcombe.”
If you are interested in supporting Chris with his challenge, visit his fundraising page http://bit.ly/supportchrisRNLI.