Childhood Pendle friends set to tackle Lake District marathon

Darren and James preparing for the gruelling challenge
Darren and James preparing for the gruelling challenge

Two best friends from Blacko are putting their best foot forward for a charity close to their hearts.

Tireless fundraiser James Dent (32) and his friend Darren Tillotson (31), are set to lace their trainers and pounds the scenic paths around England's largest lake in aid of Pendleside Hospice.

Often described as the friendliest and most beautiful UK marathon, in the grounds of Brathay Hall with stunning views, the duo will take part in the Asics Windermere Marathon in May.

James, a freelance designer, who took part in an epic cycle ride last year raising thousands for Cancer Research UK, said: "This challenge was Darren’s idea and I didn’t take much persuading to join him! I have taken part in various charity events in the past, however, these have all been endurance cycling challenges, so this is a different challenge altogether being an endurance running challenge. It is new territory for me! I am looking forward to it, but I am extremely aware that this is a long distance and it will push the limits both physically and mentally just trying to complete the marathon

Darren, who works as a maintenance manager at Hackings Caravan Park, in Whalley, added: "This is my very first marathon and I am looking forward to the challenge and raising money for charity. I am looking forward to the mental and physical test."

Training is well under way for James and Darren, who are currently running at least four times a week, building up the distance and time as they go.

The duo are hoping to raise as much as possible for Pendleside Hospice.

Darren said: "I have had family members in their care and they do an incredible job. Having grown up in the Pendle area, it is very warming for me to give a little something back to the hospice who help the people of Pendle."

Similar sentiments were expressed by James who added: "My grandmother, Dr Helen Roll, was a local doctor in Pendle and she was a patient at Pendleside Hospice before passing a few years ago to cancer. Ever since, I have wanted to raise some money for the charity as the job that all the staff and volunteers do is simply amazing. Knowing that all money raised will go to their great cause will help me and Darren push on to complete this marathon challenge."

Anyone wishing to sponsor the pair are asked to log onto