The London Marathon will be taking place in the capital on Sunday 23rd April 2023.

Inspector Simon Arinze and three of his officers Mike Starkey, Dan Ovel and Terry Spence from West Mercia Police in Hereford will be taking part in the 26.2 mile course to raise funds for the WellChild Charity.

L2R – Terry Spence, Mike Starkey, Dan Ovel, Simon Arinze

Simon told Your Herefordshire:

“I’m 60 soon and wanted to do something to mark my birthday. I’m on the verge of retirement and all my friends and colleagues have been surprised that a veteran like me is lacing up their running shoes, but we wanted to support an excellent cause in WellChild.”

There is a competitive nature between the four of them.

Terry Spence joked:

“I plan on beating all three of them. The wife called me fat and told me I couldn’t do it, so that fired up a competitive streak in me, its a great cause and we want to raise as much money as possible.”

Dan Ovel has just spent his first year in the force. He told Your Herefordshire:

“I’m always up for a challenge and decided to do it. WellChild is an excellent charity, they care for children and families of children with life altering illnesses and every penny donated will do amazing things for the children and families they support.”

Mike Starkey is a regular squash player and has recently got into running. He told us:

“Running has helped me with my well being over the last few years. I love watching the London Marathon on TV and thought I would love to run that one day.”

Mike Starkey & Dan Ovel

We asked them how the training is going. Especially during the current cold spell.

Mike admitted the weather makes things tough:

“In the cold spell we have recently had, it requires a lot of power and you really have to push through, especially when it’s freezing cold outside and you can’t feel your hands.”

Dan added: “The recent floods didn’t help, but I have a treadmill in the garage, so I can get those extra runs in when the weather is bad.”

The four of them have had plenty of support. Simon added: “I will probably be painfully slow, but slow and steady wins the race and it’s all about raising those all important funds for WellChild.”

You can donate here -> Michael Starkey is fundraising for WellChild (