Bus driver’s inspiration is big belly marathon runner

jpco 4-2-15 Lee Perry who is running the London Marathon to raise money for Children with cancer (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-150202-124454001
jpco 4-2-15 Lee Perry who is running the London Marathon to raise money for Children with cancer (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-150202-124454001
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A Metrobus driver inspired by a man with a beer belly who ran seven marathons in a week is training for the London Marathon.

Lee Perry, 24, of Binney Court, Pound Hill, aims to raise £2,000 for Children With Cancer UK.

He said World Marathon runner Ted Jackson, who used to smoke, drink and was obese, was his role model.

Ted, who weighs 15st, raised more than £140,000 for charity after he completed the run on January 25.

Lee, who used to play county football, said he was out of shape because of his inactive job.

The Crawley “born and bred” man is running more than 30 miles per week in Pound Hill and Tilgate.

He has completed several long-distance events to raise funds since signing up to the marathon in September.

These included three half marathons last year.

The bus driver will run another three half marathons and the Brighton Marathon before taking on the London Marathon on April 26.

Lee said he had applied on the ballot for the last five years.

He has wanted to run the London Marathon since he was 16.

Lee was grateful he had not been affected by cancer unlike other members of his family.

On achieving the target, he said: “It would be absolutely amazing because the reason why I run these marathons is that I’ve been quite fortunate.”

Lee started raising money for charity by taking part in the annual Santa Run race through Crawley town centre in aid of a children’s hospice four years ago.

Lee, who plays for Ifield-based Sporting Elite FC, has since given up smoking and raised nearly £4,000.

The money was raised for Chestnut Tree House, Mind and the Alzheimer’s Society.

Lee said: “My grandparents have Alzheimer’s dementia.

“I meant a lot to my family because it’s quite difficult.”

Lee ran Brighton Marathon 2012 and Portsmouth, Southsea Bupa Great South Run in aid of Mind in 2013.

He raised some £1,200.

Children with Cancer UK invests in research and welfare and campaigns for children with cancer in the UK.

More than £300 has been raised on it so far.

To sponsor Lee, visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/leeperry

Ted Jackson,43, ran seven marathons in seven continents in seven days.

He was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2009 and has raised more than £140,000 for Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis. The charity helps people with the disease of the nervous system.