A MATHS teacher is aiming to tackle a marathon task after securing a place in the London Marathon for the first time.

Jon Howarth has completed several long distance races in the past but it will be his debut outing in the iconic 26-mile run through the capital.

Mr Howarth qualified for the race on Sunday, April 28, by completing last year’s Manchester marathon in under three hours.

He is raising funds for St Ann’s Hospice where his uncle Keith Howarth, 66, and close family friend Terry Hemmings, 70, were patients.

Both men died late last year. Keith, from Sale, was a retired fireman and Terry, from Levenshulme, was a local businessman and former university lecturer.

Mr Howarth, from Rossendale, said: “The hospice provided wonderful care for them in the final stages of their lives and I know how grateful family and friends of Keith and Terry were.

“I’ve been trying to get into the London Marathon for eight years. It was a goal of mine but I was reluctant to take a charity place and wanted to qualify on merit.

“It’ll be nice to do it in their memory and recognise the work they did.”

Mr Howarth, who works at Haslingden High School, is a member of Rossendale Harriers and runs an average of 20-30 miles a week.

As well as the Manchester Marathon, he has previously been involved in the Windmill Half Marathon, which takes a route around Lytham St Annes on the Fylde coast.

To sponsor Mr Howarth visit: uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JonHowarth.