A BLACKWOOD man is to run two marathons in seven days in memory of a dear friend.
Daffydd Weetman, 40, hopes to complete the Llanelli Marathon on April 19 and the London Marathon on April 26 in tribute to Bethan Sims, 20, from Blackwood, who lost her battle with cystic fibrosis last September.
Ms Sims, who was the niece of Mr Weetman's sister, Jennifer Sims, had suffered from the genetic disorder since childhood and had been on the waiting list for a lung transplant before she died.
Mr Weetman, who has only been running for 18 months, said that he felt the mammoth challenge of running 52 miles was the perfect way to pay tribute to Ms Sims.
He said: "Bethan was a really funny and outgoing person. Nothing ever stopped her. She drove and loved working in the Bumble Bee pub in Blackwood.
"When my lungs start to hurt on a long run, the inspiration to carry on comes from her. It seemed natural to do this in memory of her."
Last year, Mr Weetman ran the London Marathon in a time of five hours and 10 minutes – having only been training for the event for four months.
Mr Weetman, a member of Islwyn running club, has been running around 50 miles per week in training for this year's event.
He said: "When you hit the 20-mile mark of a marathon, your body just goes and you have to push on and I think I can do it in four hours this time around. It just felt the right thing to do in memory of Bethan."
Mr Weetman is fundraising on behalf of the Better Life Appeal, who supported Ms Sims throughout her life, and hopes to raise £400 through running the two marathons.
The Better Life Appeal supports the All Wales Adult Cystic Fibrosis Centre based at Llandough Hospital in Cardiff. It is the only adult Cystic Fibrosis centre in Wales and cares for almost 250 patients.
You can donate via JustGiving