A PUB landlord is raising the bar for his next charity challenge by running the Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon, writes Ed Mezzetti.

Paul Marshall, who runs the Rook and Gaskill in Lawrence Street, York has been a regular fundraiser alongside his friend Alan Shaw.

And now they are training for October's 26.2-mile race, which starts and finishes in York.

"We were looking for a new challenge this year," said Mr Marshall, 47.

"We watched the marathon last year and said we could do that.

"We signed up, but didn't expect to get accepted. Now we are here and doing it."

York Press: Paul Marshall, landlord of the Rook & Gaskill

Paul Marshall, pictured previously behind the bar in The Rook and Gaskill

The pair are running for Martin House Children's Hospice and Prostate Cancer UK, with money raised being split equally between the two.

"We've been doing fundraising for Martin House Hospice for three or four years and have done the Three Peaks Challenge for them twice," said Mr Marshall.

"Prostate Cancer UK doesn't get enough publicity and I have had family members affected by it."

Mr Shaw, 56, is a roofer and, like Mr Marshall, has grown-up children.

They hope to raise £1,000 for the two charities and expect to have plenty of support for what is their first marathon.

"It turns out that there are three or four customers from this pub, who are running it as well," said Mr Marshall.

As well as friends and family cheering on the route, there will be a party at the Rook and Gaskill after the race.

Mr Marshall said: "I have not done anything like this before. The training is going slowly. We are now into an eight-week plan. I run early in the morning and Al trains in the evenings."

He added: "Seeing some of the people last year and thinking they will never get round, but then seeing them come over the line was awesome.

"We are not trying to do any sort of time, we are just looking to complete it.

"I swear to God, there will be no more running after this. This will be it and something to tick off my life's list. I will look for something new to do next year."

Details about how to sponsor the pair can be found on the Rook and Gaskill's Facebook page.