Cider press pals in London Marathon run for cancer fundraiser
TWO friends will stick together every step of the way in the London Marathon when they carry a cider press in a charity effort with a difference.
Ben Weller, director of artisan cider producer Twisted Cider of Longburton, and Shane Green carried the 37-kilo wooden cider press on a half-marathon at Silverstone last weekend.
Now they are determined to complete the 26-mile route in London on 21st April to raise money for Cancer Research UK.
They have been friends since their schooldays in Yeovil and both have run marathons.
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But this time they have an added incentive following Shane's diagnosis of skin cancer in 2006. Their cider press marathon effort is a way to thank the charity for the progress in treatment available because of its work.
Ben and Shane, both 30, aim to raise more than £4,000 through sponsorship and donations.
Ben said he and Shane, who lives in Yeovil and works at AugustaWestland in the town, completed the Bath half marathon with the cider press last year as a team of four.
But restrictions on places in the London event means only two can take part and they have to carry the cider-press over the whole route.
Ben said: "It's going to be hard. We have to keep the same pace and it will be awkward because we can't move our arms as we run.
"We'll wear gloves but even then we'll end up with blisters on our hands as well as on our feet.
"I just hope the weather is cloudy with a cool breeze.
"But there's nothing like the cheers of the crowd to help and our friends and family will be there to support us.
"People have told us we're crazy but we're looking forward to it - it should be a great day."
Both had planned for several years to do the London Marathon.
Ben said: "It was Shane's idea to do it with the cider press to make it something out of the ordinary."
Twisted Cider has supported Cancer Research UK for several years as its chosen charity.
People can sponsor them online at www.justgiving.com/twistedcider or text PRES69 with the amount being donated to 70070.