SCHOOLTEACHER Mark Butler has been training since December for tomorrow's London Marathon.

Dr Butler, 32, (pictured, above, cheered on by pupils) teaches physical education at Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School, Blackburn.

He said: "My pupils are looking forward to seeing me next week, to see if I am staggering!"

Dr Butler, of Revidge, Blackburn, has been running 45 miles a week and swimming and cycling too as part of his training.

He ran the London Marathon once before, in a respectable time of three hours 19 minutes.

But he said: "I am hoping this one will go a bit quicker."

Dr Butler hopes to raise £1,500 for the charity Dreams Come True, which makes terminally ill children's wishes come true.

He has already collected £700 in sponsorship pledges but anyone wanting to make a donation should send cheques made payable to ME Butler London Marathon Account to him at Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School, West Park Road, Blackburn.

A Blackburn charity which helps young homeless people will benefit when Bill Crook and Sharon Lean will run tomorrow's London Marathon.

They are raising money for Nightsafe, which offers accommodation and support to the young homeless.

Bill, 43, of Chorley, has run three London Marathons and has covered around 400 miles in the last 10 weeks in preparation for tomorrow.

He hopes to complete the course in under three hours and beat his time last year of two hours 57 minutes. Bill, a care worker, said: "I work with a lot of young people and I know what a good job Nightsafe does."

Sharon, 29, is volunteer director for Community Service Volunteers in Bradford and looks after the volunteers who help at Nightsafe.

She started running a year ago and is looking forward to her first marathon.

She said: "I have been running between 35 and 40 miles a week and hopefully I will do the marathon in under four hours."

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