A MILITARY hopeful will run 26.2 miles along a West Midlands canal towpath in aid of current and ex-servicemen and women.

Chris Guidon, 30, of Birchen Coppice, Kidderminster, has mapped out the marathon route from Coseley, near Tipton, following the Birmingham Canal, around Wolverhampton to join the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal to finish at Weavers Wharf, Kidderminster and will set off on Saturday morning to raise money for Help for Heroes.

Mr Guidon had applied to join the Royal Marines last year and said he had made it through to one of the final stages of the application before failing a medical.

He is now unable to reapply until April next year but said he planned to raise more money for charities through running events to keep up his level of fitness.

Mr Guidon said: “I thought I had brought myself up to a level of fitness and maybe to the required level for a marathon and wanted to make the most of it and support the troops in any way that I can.

“This will be my first marathon and it is going to be a solo marathon. People normally have about seven to 12 months to prepare, I have given myself just a month but nothing will stop me from finishing the challenge. I am aiming to do it in about four hours if I can smash it.”

Despite a short amount of preparation time and lack of hours to train due to work, Mr Guidon has managed to get himself ready for the event. “I had been using the gym regularly until recently,” he said. “I have not got a lot of time for it but every spare moment I have been running up and down alongside the canal and along the river in Bewdley.”

The Kidderminster man said family and friends would see him over the finish line and anyone else was welcome along to support.

He will carry a global positioning system device on the day so people can track his progress by visiting his page mapmyrun.com/gb and if you would like to make a donation go to bmycharity.com/towpathmarathon