HAVING never run long distance before, completing the London Marathon in April is set to be a mammoth challenge for Vince Masters.

But it is one that he hopes will help improve the lives of bowel cancer patients, after his mum was diagnosed with the illness in 2011.

Vince, 28, of the town centre, will be completing the 26.2 mile event on April 21 in aid of Bowel Cancer UK. He hopes to raise £5,000 for the charity and is organising a number of fundraisers ahead of the big day.

The first event will be a charity auction, rumoured to be hosted by Simon Webbe of the band Blue, at Baker Street, on March 27, with special offers on cocktails and a live band.

“I set myself the personal goal of raising £5,000 and I’ve had a lot of support,” said Vince, a business development executive who also works at Baker Street.

“Dan, the general manager at Baker Street has been really kind and given me the venue for free for the evening and is helping with marketing and tickets.

“I have got a few items for the auction already but if anybody has anything they would like to donate, any sports memorabilia, beauty treatments, anything would be much appreciated.

“The thing about Swindon is everyone is always very supportive, even if times are hard, and working at Baker Street is very sociable, you get to know so many people so I am hoping for a good turn out.”

Vince decided to take part in the marathon last August and has secured himself a gold place in the event. He is training up to five times a week averaging eight miles each time.

“Training is going well,” he said.

“Obviously I have never even attempted anything like this before, but I am quite sporty anyway.

“Completing a marathon has always been one of my lifetime goals and at the time I signed up it seemed like a good idea.

“I enjoy the training – if you’ve had a stressful day at work, it clears your head but you’ve got to be motivated to do it. My mum thinks it’s a nice touch that I am doing it and she tells me to keep training.

“It is going to be a really big challenge for me, but I know I will feel chuffed with myself once I do it.”

Tickets for the event at Baker Street are £10 and there are 300 tickets for sale. All ticket proceeds will go to charity. Contact Baker Street on 01793 978011.

To sponsor Vince, visit www.justgiving.com/vincent-masters or text VJMM85 £5 to 70070. For more information about the charity, visit www.bowelcanceruk.co.uk.

If you have any items you would like to donate for the auction, contact Vince on vince.masters@hotmail.co.uk.