Mark has the drive for a marathon effort!

MEDALLION MAN&.Mark McLoughlin with Leighton Ladies Captain Avril Simpson and Club Captain John Smith, who are raising funds for local charities.
MEDALLION MAN&.Mark McLoughlin with Leighton Ladies Captain Avril Simpson and Club Captain John Smith, who are raising funds for local charities.

A Leighton Buzzard man plans to celebrate his 53rd birthday in May by completing his 25th marathon to raise funds for two local charities.

Lorry driver Mark McLoughlin will be pounding the streets of Liverpool on May 28, two weeks after his birthday, with his sights set on raising thousands of pounds for Leighton Buzzard Otters swimming club for the disabled and the Chiltern Multiple Sclerosis Society.

The two charities have been nominated by Leighton Buzzard golf club captain John Smith and Ladies captain Avril Simpson as the main focus of their fundraising for their year in office – and 23-handicap golfer Mark will be seeking the support of fellow club members, family and friends.

“It just seems a sensible thing to try and help others less fortunate than myself,” says Mark, who has already completed 21 marathons in the past three years, and has three more booked before his Merseyside run.

Mark, a heavy goods vehicle driver with Grovebury Road-based family-owned Comptons Transport, is a member of the 200-strong Leighton Fun Runners club and clocks up around 30 miles a week in his regular training sessions.

Typically taking around four hours to complete a 26 mile marathon challenge, Mark has a vast array of medals for completing events in Spain, Paris, Amsterdam, Liverpool, Chester, Nottingham, London, Milton Keynes, Dunstable and Brighton. He has also completed the 40-mile Ridgeway “ultra” marathon and has just returned from finishing the Sevilla, Andulucia, marathon in 4 hours 16 minutes… after making a fruitless journey to Malaga a few weeks earlier only to have the event cancelled due to heavy storms and severe flooding.

Having completed eight marathons in 2015 and 11 last year, Mark has a further eight booked for this year including the Thames Meander, Brighton, Milton Keynes, Tenby, and Majorca with the Liverpool Rock ‘N’ Roll event starting on the Albert Dock, with the route passing both Everton and Liverpool football grounds before returning through Sefton Park on the way to the finishing line on the famous River Mersey waterfront.

A keen golfer, Mark has been a Leighton member since 2003 and was named as Clubman of the Year in 2013.

Club captain John Smith: “We’ll be doing our best to make sure Mark gets plenty of support. He’s a great guy with a big heart and always keen to help others.”