A NOVICE marathon runner is raising funds for a charity close to his heart.

Ciaran Connor’s father, John, died of kidney disease in 1998 and now he is training hard to raise funds for Kidney Research UK.

He said: “I thought it would be good to raise money to help other people affected by this debilitating illness.

“I’ve raced in the Mud Runs at Evesham and done the Beacon Race with Worcester Athletic Club, but nothing of this sort of magnitude before.”

Mr Connor, aged 27, of Goodson Road, Malvern Link, is using the Hills as his training ground. “I prefer it to running on roads,” he said.

He has to find the time for his race practice between his job at OT stores in Spring Lane, raising his family and doing a maths degree with the Open University.

“I don’t know how I manage to get it all done,” he added.

Mr Connor will run the Brighton Marathon on Sunday, April 14.

He wants to raise £600, and hopes supporters will help by going online to justgiving.com/ciaranconnor.