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Haverhill man to shave off his hair and run marathon for Brain Tumour Charity in memory of late friend

The loss of a cherished family friend has inspired a Haverhill man to abandon his vow never to run a marathon again.

But before Ian Longland even gets to the starting line for the London Marathon on April 28, he has decided to shave off his ten inch long hair to raise money towards the £2,700 pledge required to run in the race for the Brain Tumour Charity.

Ian, of Boyton Close in Haverhill, will be having his head shaved on January 16 and has a fund-raising page to help his cause; https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ian-longland.

To help Ian's cause, his employer, Officescape, specialists in designer build and fit-outs, has offered 'superb support', donating £1,500 and organising two fund-raising events that have netted a further £110.

The 45-year-old last ran in a marathon two years ago, but he has decided to return to doing a 26.4miles run following the death in late July of his close family friend, Angie Chapman.

Ian Longland sporting the hair that he will have shaved off for the Brain Tumour Charity
Ian Longland sporting the hair that he will have shaved off for the Brain Tumour Charity

Angie, and her husband Nigel, of Steeple Bumpstead, became friends with Ian after the latter joined Haverhill Running Club 13 years ago.

Tragically, Angie was diagnosed with a brain tumour and after fighting it for 18 months, during which time she had two operations, her life was taken by the disease.

Ian said: “It’s in memory of Angie, who was our close friend, who passed away.

“She went through an awful lot during that time (the treatment). Our daughter has always treated her more as as an aunt than just as a friend.

“It’s had quite an impact on ourselves, our family and our friends.”

Since running in his first London Marathon 12 years ago, Ian, who is married with two daughters, has gone on to take part in many more.

But since the Brighton Marathon two years ago he has, he explained, not had any intention of doing any more marathons - until now.

He said: “I kind of became an addicted marathon runner and did it lots of times but in the last two years i’ve had injury upon injury and in my head I gave up on the idea.

“It’s taken too much of a toll on my body. I vowed I would never do London or do a marathon again, but with Angie passing I wanted to do it again.”

His headshave will be done by Zoe Chapman, a hairdresser friend who is not related to Angie or Nigel.