A BROMSGROVE man is involved in an intense training programme to prepare him for a marathon challenge.

Gary Tomkinson has gained a place in this April’s London Marathon, and has been training hard for the gruelling 26.2 miles, which he hopes to complete in under five hours.

The 55-year-old only began running a year ago, losing three stones in five months. He developed a passion for running, and has gone on to take part in various 10-kilometre and half marathon events, as well as the Berlin Marathon.

The bank employee will be running for Sense, the national deafblind charity.

Mr Tomkinson is hoping to raise £2,000, and has already managed to raise £940 through various fund-raising activities including a celebrity quiz and a cake baking contest.

If he reaches the target before the charity run, the Bromsgrove runner has promised to wear a bright orange tutu.

He was put on the intense training programme by Worcester running club the Black Pear Joggers. The programme consists of midweek runs, fitting around his work schedule, plus a long run of 10 miles at the weekend.

Mr Tomkinson said: “After successfully completing the Berlin Marathon in September, I've well and truly got the running bug.

“Whilst completing a marathon was a personal ambition of mine, I now wish to do it all again but this time for a wonderful cause.”

Anyone who wishes to make a donation to Mr Tomkinson’s marathon run can do so through his fund-raising website virginmoneygiving.com/team/garytomkinson.