Ray will start race with his grandson

Ray Blackwell is fundraising for Chestnut Tree House children's hospice SUS-150902-114253001
Ray Blackwell is fundraising for Chestnut Tree House children's hospice SUS-150902-114253001

A RUNNER will be lining up at the start of a half-marathon with his grandson.

Felpham man Ray Blackwell, 76, will begin the 13.2-mile race around Bath with Joshua, 20, on March 1.

Ray said: “There can’t be many granddads running in the same race as their grandsons. I will be a very proud man standing at the start with him.

“But he will be off as soon as the gun goes.”

Ray is taking part in the run in aid of the Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice near Arundel. It will be the latest of the various events he has undertaken in the past ten years since recovering from prostate cancer.

These have included parachute jumps, running marathons and cycle rides.

“I’m expecting to finish the half-marathon in 2hr 25mins,” he said. “My times are getting slower as I get older.

“But I am just so pleased that, at my age, I’m still able to do them.”

The Bath Half-Marathon is one of the longest established and most popular city centre road events in the UK.

It is also the largest charity fundraising event in the south-west with more than £1.5m raised for good causes last year. The course is fast and flat to make it suitable for all abilities.

Ray has an internet site for donations for Chestnut Tree –the only children’s hospice in the area – at www.virginmoneygiving.com.

He hopes to raise at least £500 to help its work with seriously ill young people and their young families.