A RUNNER is taking part in the London Marathon to support an Oxford youth theatre, with hopes of raising £5,000.

David Shorten is raising the money for the Pegasus Theatre in East Oxford, which works with young people from diverse backgrounds as well as presenting a range of shows for young audiences and their families.

He said: “I can't stress enough how important it is for our young people to get back into this space and start being creative again.

“When I first signed up for the marathon, my daughter had just begun the two-year acting diploma at Pegasus for her sixth form education.

“She has now finished and come away with a high-quality experience and diploma that can take her in multiple directions. The staff have been amazing keeping it all going through the pandemic.”

David, whose daughter has been a long-standing participant at Pegasus Theatre, was originally meant to run the 40th London Marathon last year, but it was cancelled due to the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, not to be deterred, David completed a marathon on the day it should have taken place by running 134 laps of his garden and raising over £2,000 for Pegasus in the process.

David added: “Training has been hit and miss; just as I build it up an injury knocks it back down.

“Currently I'm nursing niggles in the knee and ankle but am determined to make it.”

This year’s London Marathon will take place on place on Sunday 3rd October, 889 days after it was last held in April 2019. The world famous event will see up to 50,000 runners take on the 26.2 mile course.

Runners around the world will also complete the 26.2 miles on a course of their choosing anywhere in the world.

Jo Osborne, development director at Pegasus, said: “This is the first time we’ve had a runner in the London Marathon and after all David’s hard work and dedication over the past two years, we’re so excited that he is finally heading to London to run in such an historic marathon.

“It’s been a tough time at Pegasus over the past 18 months and David’s support is making a fantastic contribution as we welcome back our audiences and participants.”

Pegasus Theatre is an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation with more than 50 years’ experience engaging children and young people.

Donations can be made to Mr Shorten’s Virgin Money Giving page.