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"Where's Welly?" heads for London Marathon

BEESTON Round Table chairman John 'Welly?' Whelpton won't get lost in the throng at this year's London Marathon.

He'll be dressed as the book character Where's Wally? complete with red and white stripy jumper, matching bobble hat and thick-rimmed spectacles.

John, 42, from Stapleford in Nottinghamshire, has volunteered to tackle the gruelling marathon for Round Table Children's Wish (RTCW), a national charity which grants handcrafted wishes for children with life-threatening illnesses.

John is the commercial manager for Leisure Furnishings Ltd in Long Eaton.

He said: "When I saw RTCW was looking for people to run the marathon for them this year I thought: "Why not?" and signed up.

"I have raised money for the charity before as a member of Beeston Round Table and know what a boost a wish can be to children who have been through illness and gruelling treatment.

"I'm also approaching the end of my term as Chairman and thought this would be a fitting swansong."

Round Table Children's Wish has been supported by the national network of Round Tables since it was founded 25 year ago.

The charity attempts to grant any wish, from iPads and garden playhouses, to trips to Disneyland Paris and meetings with favourite celebrities.

Explaining his strange costume John added: "My nickname is Welly because of my surname Whelpton, but when I grew my hair longer recently our factory staff started saying I looked like Where's Wally?

John said: "I'm going to be Where's Welly? and like Where's Wally? it will be probably be pretty difficult  to spot me among all the thousands of runners in the marathon, but I'm hoping some people will see me, if only my bobble hat.

"I might even be able to use a GPS map so people can track my progress and location, so it will be more a case of There's Welly! not Where's Welly?"

Samantha Read, fundraising officer at Round Table Children's Wish said: "We were thrilled when we heard of John's plans and we think he will look amazing in his Where's Welly? costume."

She added: "We rely solely on fundraising to fund the wishes we grant and John is one of a group of people who have come forward and agreed to run the marathon for us this year. Their efforts will bring joy to many children."

John is hoping to raise £4000 for Round Table Children's Wish and can be sponsored here.


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