A FUNDRAISER who was inspired to take up running following the death of his grandfather is gearing up to take part in the Yorkshire Marathon in York.

Mike Wright took part in his first 10km race in York in 2011 in memory of his grandfather, Fred Hugill, who died from Alzheimer’s Disease in January 2010, aged 89.

Stepping up his training, the 25-year-old, of Heworth Green, took part in an astonishing 14 swimming and running races last year – including the Jane Tomlinson 10km races in Hull, Leeds and York – and has so far raised hundreds of pounds for the Alzheimer’s Society and other charities.

He is now in training for the Manchester Marathon in April followed by the Leeds Half- Marathon and then the Yorkshire Marathon in October.

Mike said: “I hadn’t really been into running before, I wanted to do a sport I thought I could be all right at and running was what I chose. I wanted to raise money for Alzheimer’s and I know my grandad would be proud of me for doing it.

“I’m quite optimistic about the marathons and looking forward to them. I want to do them well and I’m hoping for a time of three-and-a-half hours.

“I think it’s great for York to have got the marathon. The interest it has generated is absolutely brilliant.”

Mike, who was very close to his grandfather, said Mr Hugill had served in the Army in the Second World War and spent his working life as a farmer until retirement.

He said over the last few years of his life, he struggled to remember past and present events and became a shadow of his former self.

Mike, who works at Ryedale Swimming Pool, said his granddad also suffered heart problems and due to that he has chosen to run the Leeds Half-Marathon for the British Heart Foundation and the Yorkshire Marathon in York in aid of The Stroke Association.

To sponsor Mike for the Greater Manchester Marathon, visit justgiving.com/Michael-Wright13, for the Leeds Half- Marathon visit justgiving.com/Michael-Wright12, and for the Yorkshire Marathon visit justgiving.com/Michael-Wright14