A CHURCHWARDEN and librarian will be joining dozens of other borough residents tackling the London Marathon later this month.
Andrew Allen, 65, is no stranger to pounding the streets for charity having run five marathons in the past five years.
The churchwarden at St Saviour, in Cobbold Road, Shepherd's Bush, defied his years to run the 26-mile course in four hours and eight minutes in 2007.
He admits he will be hard pressed to match that feat on April 17 when he will join thousands of other runners and taking up the gruelling endurance test.
Mr Allen is raising money for the church's Disability Access Fund to upgrade their dated facilities.
He said: ""It is a lot more challenging this time to be honest but I have been training for five months and ran all through the winter so I feel ready.
"We are desperate to install disabled access into our 19 th Century building which is raised from street level. At the moment it is very difficult for people with mobility issues or wheelchairs to get in and out.
"If we can raise enough money ourselves then we hope to be able to secure the necessary grants needed to complete the project."
Mr Allen will be joined on the starting grid by Elin Jones, 54, of Parfrey Street, Hammersmith.
Mrs Jones has been a librarian at Hammersmith Library for 32 years and has discovered a love for fundraising and marathon running late on in life.
She is hoping to raise £1,600 for Age UK and Age Concern, based in Greyhound Road.
She said: "It is the second time I have run the marathon and I ran last year for Cancer Research UK. Don't get me wrong, I am no athlete and finished in six hours and 11 minutes.
"That was in-between Lorraine Kelly (TV presenter) and Gordon Ramsey's wife so I was in good company. If I can get under six hours this time I will be delighted.
"The training has been okay and I went for an 18 mile run the other day from Hammersmith Bridge to Greenwich which was nice. It is sometimes really nice to run along the river."
Mike Hindley, of Fulham, is running the marathon for Starlight Children's Foundation, which grants lifetime wishes to seriously and terminally-ill children.
Mr Hindley, who runs a recruitment firm, has set himself a £4,000 fundraising target for the charity, who currently have 37 children waiting for wishes to come true in London.
He said: "Starlight are a fantastic charity that makes a massive difference to the lives of seriously-ill children. Putting a smile on the face of a very poorly child has got to worth some support.
"Training has been tougher than expected. The winter weather has been grim to work through but it will be worth it on April 17. Whenever I have been struggling with training, I remind myself of how important the fundraising is and it makes it easier.
"What's a few hours of pain if you can help change a child's life?"
You can sponsor Mr Hindley by visiting www.justgiving.com/Mike-Hindley .
Mrs Jones has set up a fundraising collection box at Age UK, in Greyhound Road or you can visit www.justgiving.com/Elin-Jones . To sponsor Mr Allen pop into St Saviour Church or call 020 8743 4769.