Two young brothers are getting ready to walk the London Marathon route to help the homeless.
Nicholas Harrison, eight, and his younger brother Alex, six, will be taking on the 26.2-mile route through London on Saturday 27 April, the day before the official race, to raise money for homelessness charity St Mungo’s.
After enjoying adventurous walks with their parents the pair were searching for a new challenge, so their father Tom Harrison, 42, from Amersham, suggested they walk the marathon, with Nicholas choosing to raise money for the homeless. They have set themselves a £1,000 fundraising target.
The brothers have been training since November, with a 20-mile walk three weeks ago which is the furthest distance they have tried so far.
“We try and make every walk a bit of an adventure and go somewhere new,” said Nicholas. “The marathon will be our biggest adventure.”
The young hikers are expecting to finish the course in 12 hours, starting at 7am and ending at 7pm. Alex said he is “happy” about taking on the distance while Nicholas said he is “quite confident and maybe a little nervous”.
“Because it’s really long and it will be hard and dad’s bag might not be big enough to fit enough snacks,” he explained.
Asked what message he hopes to share by completing the challenge, Alex said: “You can always do things if you try your hardest.”
Big brother Nicholas added: “No matter how small you are you can still achieve things, no matter what other people say.”
The family have handed out flyers in their home town, posted to their “Little Legs walking a Marathon!” Twitter page and even appeared on BBC Three Counties Radio to promote their efforts, raising £330 of a £1,000 target on their JustGiving page at the time of writing.
The boys illustrated their understanding of the cause they are walking for with an explanation of what St Mungo’s does to help homeless people. “They have something called no second night out so you don’t have a second night out and St Mungo’s make shelter and food for you,” said Alex.
Nicholas added: “If you struggle with writing and typing on the computer and find it hard getting a job then they will help teach you to learn. And if you do drugs they might take you to a doctor and he will tell how to use it, how much you want and if you’re using the right drug or not.”
Their father said the cause is about being “part of a bigger picture in life”.
“The reasons for people being homeless are so wide-ranging and certainly don’t boil down to it’s just that person’s fault,” he said.
“So I think we have a duty to try and help people get people back on the ladder, in housing or work or, ideally, both.”
Asked how they will celebrate crossing the finish line, Alex said he wants to “have lots of food”, while Nicholas said: “I’d like to go to sleep.”
If you would like to support their cause, visit their JustGiving page.