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Kentford vet Bill Besley to compete in his first London Marathon to raise money for Guide Dogs for the Blind

Ash Tree Vet Bill Besley with guide dogs in training Cathy and Quince (8619689)
Ash Tree Vet Bill Besley with guide dogs in training Cathy and Quince (8619689)

A Kentford vet is set to compete in his first London Marathon after being inspired to take up running by his children.

Bill Besley, who works at the village’s Ash Tree veterinary practice, was walking with his sons Noah and Joseph to a local park about two-and-a-half years ago.

“They ran off ahead and I couldn’t catch up with them,” said Bill. “I thought to myself ‘that’s enough of that’ and we’ve been running, as a family, ever since,”

The three are regular entrants in the Great Run Local over a 5k course around the Side Hill gallops on Newmarket Heath every Sunday and are members of their local running club, the Stowmarket Striders.

Noah, who is now 10, will soon be representing his primary school in the final of the Suffolk Cross Country championships in his age group while Bill, 48, will be tackling his first trip over the full marathon distance.

He has recently completed the London Landmark Half-Marathon in a personal best time of under 1hr 50mins and is not only planning to finish the big race itself in the best possible time but also to enjoy every minute of it.

“We went down to watch last year and it was really inspiring to see the Kenyans and Mo Farah running,” said Bill, who has been training five days a week for the past four months and is currently putting in between 40 and 50 miles a week.

“Obviously I wouldn’t be able to do all this without my wife Hannah who is a very, very good supporter,” he said.

He will be competing as part of the Guide Dogs for the Blind charity which he says is very close to his heart. He is committed to raising £2,500 - a target he is close to reaching.

The practice has been staging a series of very popular First Aid for Pets sessions with donations going towards the charity and clients are currently trying to guess what Bill’s time for the marathon will be.

“Some of the guesses are absolutely ridiculous,” said Bill, who has not set himself a target other than to have fun and finish.

Anyone wishing to sponsor him can do so at ukvirginmoneygiving.com/billbesley

If you are running the London Marathon to raise money for charity, the Journal would like to know how you get on. Contact us after the race on 01638 564104 or at alison.hayes@newmarketjournal.co.uk