THE hills around the Tivyside area have played a very important part in the training for the Virgin Money London Marathon for one local competitor.

Sculptor Johnny Cox, who currently has his works exhibited at the Edge Gallery in Cardigan town, will attempt his first ever full marathon in the UK capital on Sunday, April 22.

Father-of-three Johnny from north Pembrokeshire is rather new to the running world and admits running the full marathon won’t be easy but hopes that with the support of the crowd, he will make it.

“I think I’m rather a fledgling marathon runner. London is flat and I’ve been running the hills of the area here on a regular basis, and so far the longest run I’ve managed is 18 miles, that’s eight miles short of the full marathon,” said Johnny.

“I did that in three hours and 10 minutes so I think I’m on target for completing the marathon in around four and a half hours.

“I’m very competitive and that really helps. The atmosphere in London will be amazing and I hope I can be carried on by the crowds after the 20 miles. It’s a personal challenge and I’m looking forward to it.”

Johnny will be raising money for Parkinson’s UK as he has two aunts – Monica de Salis and Elizabeth de Mauny - who are suffering from the disease.

Johnny added: “I am delighted to have been selected to run the London Marathon along with my brother Jeremy and his son, my nephew, Martin.

“I hope to raise over £2,000 for the charity and the money will go towards on-going research into Parkinson’s towards finding a cure, as well as supporting those with the disease.”