MARATHON training is well underway for a retained firefighter who is the first person to run the London Marathon in aid of Wiltshire Air Ambulance.

Ian Norris, of Ruxley Close, Royal Wootton Bassett is very happy to be running his fifth and final London Marathon for Wiltshire Air Ambulance, in memory of local doctor, Jerry Marshall.

The 42-year-old who grew up in Sherston, said: "Dr Marshall was very well respected in Royal Wootton Bassett and he sadly passed away in November 2016. He was passionate about Wiltshire Air Ambulance and regularly fundraised for it, so I would like to continue that by running the London Marathon.

"I also support Wiltshire Air Ambulance by playing their Lottery and I've worked alongside their crews over the years at incidents that I've attended when on call for the fire service. Working with them is awe-inspiring. The critical care skills of their paramedics and the speed of the helicopter can mean the difference between life and death. This vital service is a charity and relies on public donations."

Mr Norris, who works in vehicle quality at Honda in Swindon has run the London Marathon four times in the past and hopes to complete this one on April 22 in under four hours.

"I first ran the London Marathon in 1999 and I got the bug for it", he explained. "It's a great event and the support you get from the crowd is amazing.

"Since I last ran it in 2011 I've tried to get a place in the ballots but not been successful. Being able to run it for a final time for such a great charity as Wiltshire Air Ambulance is brilliant."

Fundraising and events coordinator at Wiltshire Air Ambulance, said: "We're thrilled that Ian will be running the London Marathon representing Wiltshire Air Ambulance. So far, Ian has done a fantastic job in kick-starting his fundraising plan and is regularly updating us on how his training is going.

"We really value his support and wish him the best of luck on the day itself. We need to raise £3.25 million a year to keep flying and saving lives and we couldn't do this without people like Ian taking on such an incredible challenge."

He has to raise a minimum of £2,500 for Wiltshire Air Ambulance.

A fundraising quiz is taking place at The Crown Pub, Broad Hinton on Thursday, March 8 at 7.30pm for teams of six to enter.

There are Wiltshire Air Ambulance collection boxes at the Crows Keys Pub and the Crown Hotel on Royal Wootton Bassett High Street, or you can support him by donating to: