The single question that greets any person who says they are running a marathon is ‘why’?

That’s not a negative by the way, but it’s a question, and while it is a simple question, the answers are always very complicated.

There are lots of different reasons why people run marathons.

Runners all over the country are preparing for the 2020 London Marathon which is on April 26, and many people have different reasons for taking part.

Jody Wilson is from Oswestry and this year, he’s taking part in his eighth London Marathon, with charity and family at the forefront of his reasons.

He explained: “It’s always something I’ve wanted to do.

“I would say I’ve become addicted over the years and I just can’t say no to the charities.

“My sister used to run marathons, so I always felt like it was something I wanted to do.

“It’s good to be active and it gets you out running in all sorts of weathers and temperatures. It gets you out of the house.”

Jody ran his first London Marathon back in 2010.

He added: “I ran for Severn Hospice back in 2010 for my first year because I lost my dad to cancer in 2001 so I wanted to do my first marathon for someone who meant something to me, so I did it for the hospice because they cared for my dad.

“For my second and third marathons in 2011 and 2013, I did it for Asthma UK as I am an asthma suffer myself and so is my eight-year-old daughter.

“This year which will be my fifth (marathon) in five years, and is for Leukaemia Care because my sister was diagnosed back in 2014.

“So, I started running for this charity in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. This year will be my fifth for them.

“My times have gone slower over the years, but I just do it because I love the atmosphere.

“Probably my first year was my favourite due to the experience but as my times get slower, I find I enjoy the atmosphere more.

“Whereas when I first started, I was concentrating on getting around the course and getting finished, whereas I appreciate the support on the course more now.

“Including so far this year for Leukaemia Care I think I’ve raised £15,000 which will take me up to around £25,000 in total I think from the eight years of marathons.”

Jody explained that he is not a serious runner who trains constantly because of work and family commitments getting in the way, but he tries to fit in training three times a week.

He said: “So I may be slow and far from an athlete, I am proud to be part of that one per cent of the population who have completed a marathon.”

It’s a similar story for Alan Lewis, also from Oswestry, who has taken part in two London Marathons and an Iron Man.

“I decided to run a marathon and the driver was because it was for charity and raising money and I guess it was a personal challenge as well,” he said.

“My first marathon was for Prostate Cancer because I had lost my uncle to that and I raised about £3,000. My second London Marathon was for breast cancer because I lost my mum which I raised nearly £10,000 for.”

Alan, who organises the Oswestry 10k and the forthcoming Welshpool 10k, said he was motivated through family as he wanted to do them proud and not let them down.

He added: “The benefits are a few different things from mental health, health and wellbeing, and having a charity as well to raise much-needed money for.

“I think anyone who is involved around sport is a better person really and it brings out your energy.

“Anyone who does the challenge tends to be a happy outgoing person to be around. I think anyone doing a marathon has a spring in their step and are motivated in their professional life.

“I trained quite hard but firstly you have to decided how much time you are willing to commit and how much of your life and family life you will set a side each week and each month.

“Both athletes and many others, who choose to run marathons seem to be motivated for health reasons and take part for charities that have affected them or their families personally.