Rochford MP James Duddridge to swap London for Southend in October’s official marathon race

An MP is hoping to raise funds for the homeless charity HARP when he runs the 40th London Marathon from Southend in October.

James Duddridge MP will join runners from across the country and around the world when he takes on the “virtual” race in under two months’ time.

The original race, which was due to take place back in April, has been postponed until next year due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Instead, organisers are asking participants who had a place to complete the 26.2-mile route from home on the re-scheduled date instead.

It will be the second marathon the MP for Rochford and Southend East has run, having completed the iconic race in 2019.

He has continued to train throughout lockdown, completing the distance of a marathon over the course of a week back in April, as well as a 10km charity run around the runway at Southend Airport in May. 

Mr Duddridge will take on this fresh challenge with the hope of raising funds for Southend’s homeless charity HARP.

He said: “Getting the marathon to go ahead in the usual way just would not have been possible this year, so I am very much looking forward to swapping the iconic sights of London for the iconic sights of Southend and Rochford instead.

“I have tried to keep the miles up and get out for a run when I can, however, fitting the training in around work can always be a bit of a challenge.

“HARP does fantastic work in supporting local people tackle homelessness and the other complexities that are often associated with it, and I hope I can raise a good sum of money for them this year by taking part in this challenge.”

Those who wish to sponsor Mr Duddridge can do so by visiting justgiving.com/jamesduddridgeMP.

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Mick Ferris

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