HE may have beaten Tim Henman to win a national tennis title but Mark Schofield is facing up to his toughest challenge yet!

For beating one of Britain's best tennis players in years is nothing compared to the uphill battle he faces on Sunday - the gruelling 26-mile London marathon.

Mark, 24, of Chapman Road, Hoddlesden, said: "This has definitely got to be my toughest test yet. I have never run a marathon before but it is always been something I've wanted to do.

"Beating Tim Henman was certainly tough but this is even tougher. But I've been training pretty hard and I am confident I will be able to finish and I'll be happy with a time of around 4 hours 30 minutes."

Mark, a tennis coach at Blackburn Northern indoor centre, beat Henman to win the National Indoor title back in 1992. He has also played against Greg Rusedski and trained with former Wimbledon champion Stefan Edberg.

The current Lancashire indoor champion, who played twice in the junior championships at Wimbledon, is running the marathon to raise funds for St John Ambulance.

The former tennis professional said: "It is a worthy cause and so far I have raised £700 but it would be nice if I could make it up to £1,000."

SANDRA Snape, 33, of Mellor Brook, Blackburn, is running the marathon to raise funds for the Starlight Foundation, the charity which raises money for seriously ill children. The Blackburn Road Runners Club member, who has run the London marathon twice before, is hoping to raise £2,000.

ANOTHER marathon veteran, Ian McCallister, 44, of Tresco Close, Blackburn, who has pounded the streets of London twice before, is running to raise money for Age Concern's ActiveAge Fund.

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