Retired doctor to run first ever Marathon

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A retired doctor who only took up running four years ago is aiming to complete his first-ever marathon on Sunday.

James Hewlett, who worked as a GP at Linton Health Centre for 28 years, will be running the London Marathon.

Dr Hewlett is hoping to complete the marathon in four and a half hours. He will be raising money for healthcare charity PHASE Worldwide, which works to improve health, education and livelihood opportunities for disadvantaged populations in isolated Nepalese Himalayan villages.

“I’m fairly late in life,” said Dr Hewlett. “I have never been a runner. When I retired, my wife and I decided to try to get fitter. That was about four years ago.

“We went to a beginners’ group at the Saffron Striders running club, who were very welcoming and very supportive.”

Dr Hewlett, 67, began running further, adding a series of half marathons to his list of achievements.

When the Saffron Striders held a ballot for places in the London Marathon, he felt he had to enter.

“It’s the big one,” said Dr Hewlett. “I put my name in the ballot and luckily, or unluckily, for me, my name was the first one out of the hat.”

Dr Hewlett chose to raise money for PHASE after spending time working in Nepal where he witnessed the struggle to bring health care to remote villages.

He said: “They have an extremely hard life in the mountains and I have tremendous respect for them.

“If these people want to go to hospital, they have to walk for six days. It’s a different life, but they don’t grumble.”

People can sponsor Dr Hewlett at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserPage.action?userUrl=JamesLaurenceHewlett&faId=556851&isTeam=false