A Sutton runner who adopted children through Barnardo’s is aiming to complete his first marathon in less than three hours to help the charity support more families.

Tim Cox, 55, of Wallington, says he and his wife Mel’s lives were transformed when they adopted their two children, a girl and a boy aged five and three, in 2013.

The financial adviser, who works in Carshalton Beeches, has already raised more than £2,500 for Barnardo’s through sponsorship from friends, family and co-workers – with the catch that if he takes longer than three-and-a-half hours, he will refund everyone and contribute the full amount himself.

Tim, who recently completed a training session in Battersea Park with Barnardo’s Vice President Floella Benjamin and double Olympic gold medal winner Daley Thompson, is hopeful that his hard work will pay off when he tackles the Virgin Money London Marathon on April 23.

Tim said: “Back in 2011 I aimed to run a sub-three-hour marathon for my fiftieth birthday, but broke down with patella femoral pain syndrome. It took me two years' to recover from that and shortly afterwards our two children came to live with us, so sport and running went out the window and in came finishing off all the children's food.

“I’m Australian and although I moved to south London nearly 30 years ago, I still find it can get quite claustrophobic in the winter darkness - so getting out and running with a head-torch on gives me a real sense of freedom. I think I can run the marathon distance without too much effort, so have added the demanding challenge of running it in less than three hours.

“I want to support Barnardo’s because of the way the charity advised and supported Mel and I through the whole adoption process. It’s been amazing and now I can’t imagine what life was like without children, because everything has changed for the better.”

By taking on the Virgin Money London Marathon, Tim and his fellow Barnardo’s runners will raise around £250,000 to help support the UK’s most vulnerable children and young people, including those who are just leaving care or have experienced child sexual exploitation.

Lynn Gradwell, Director of Barnardo’s in London, said: “We’re so pleased that Tim and Mel were able to draw on the support that Barnardo’s can offer through the whole adoption process.
“I’d like to thank Tim for taking on the incredible challenge of the marathon, as the funds he raises will make a real difference to the lives of many more children, young people and families in London and beyond.”

To sponsor Tim please visit www.justgiving.com/Tim-Cox8
For more information about adopting through Barnardo’s, visit www.barnardos.org.uk/adoption

Article supplied by Dan Hodges