A PAIR of friends from York will run the Yorkshire Marathon this weekend for charity.

Sam Wright and Ed Hill are running in Sunday's event to raise money for Macmillan, and have a personal reason for supporting the cancer charity.

Sam's girlfriend' Heather lost her mother, Mary Lysiak, in April after Mary was diagnosed with cancer in September last year.

Sam said: "Mary and Heather suggested that we fundraise for Macmillan because of the amazing support they provide at all moments of the cancer journey.

"I'd known her for about a year and a half when she was diagnosed. It was a huge thing that happened, and really surreal time. It helps put things in perspective, and I felt quite powerless as it wasn't something I could affect. I just tried to be supportive for the family."

Sam - who calls himself "a novice runner", compared to Ed's "over-confident half marathon completer" - works for Stroud Resourcing in York, and the company is supporting Macmillan as their charity of the year, and their total combined fundraising is hoped to reach £5,000. Donations to the pair's justgiving page have already passed the £2,500 mark.

Sam said: "I'm starting to feel excited and nervous, and looking at the forecast it looks like it's going to stay dry on Sunday. Ed has promised to dye his hair green if we reach our target ahead of Sunday which has motivated a lot of people to donate."

"I was speaking to my mum last week and saying how training was going. She asked if Ed was training, but he's one of those people who will be able to just turn up on the day and do it. I think He's just got natural ability. My mum said we're a family of plodders. I'm a plodder, so I'm going to plod on."

Sam said he had found training difficult, but was confident he and Ed would both complete the course on Sunday.

He said: "One of the things helping me get through rainy runs after a 10 hour shift at work is thinking about Mary. She was a lovely lady, and I always thing of her on a run, and will be thinking of her on Sunday.

"It's amazing we're at 92 per cent of our fundraising target. Peoples' generosity has been incredible, from people we both know and we're really pleased to get over £1,000 never mind £2,000. It's such a wonderful charity and cause. So many people are affected by cancer, and Macmillan really touches peoples' hearts and are so supportive of everything you're going through."

To donate to the pair's fundraising challenge, go to justgiving.com/fundraising/sam-ed-marathon