Marathon challenge for Bluebell Wood Hospice

Russ Coulson doesn’t believe in lucky numbers - but he might need to change his mind.

Friday, 17th January 2020, 11:36 am
Updated Wednesday, 22nd January 2020, 11:25 am
Russ Coulson is taking on the London Marathon

After trying to win a place in the London Marathon for 14 years on the trot, Russ has finally struck lucky with his 15th application.

Russell, who works in construction, will be 35 when he finally gets to achieve his goal, and will be sprinting through the streets of London on April 26 in aid of Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice.

Nearly half a million runners entered the 2020 ballot for 40,000 places, a new world record which officially makes it the most popular marathon on the planet.

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“I just could not believe it when I heard I had been successful,” said Russ, a father of two from Cundy Cross, Barnsley.

“Over the years I have had the opportunity to run with some fantastic club runners, and the greatest long distance event to me was always the London Marathon. Taking part had been on my bucket-list for such a long time.

“Each year I filled in the entry form and every time when I got the rejection letter I vowed never to do it again. But each August, as soon as entries opened, I couldn’t help myself. This year, all that persistence has paid off!”

But Russ, who got the running bug aged 11, did admit to feeling daunted now his long-held dream has become reality. “I thought - I need to start training. I’ve got to make that finishing line!” he said.

Russ is getting encouragement from wife Cherrine and sons Jay, 11, and Alex, nine.