Meet the runners: Harry Papanastasiou

Harry PapanastasiouCanning Town runner fundraises for St John Ambulance after volunteers assisted his mother

A Canning Town runner is stepping up his gruelling training for this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon and is hoping local people will be right behind him in his efforts to support the nation’s leading first aid charity.

Harry Papanastasiou, 49, is fundraising for St John Ambulance in the lead-up to the big event on 24 April when we’ll provide more than 1,000 first aiders to treat injured runners and spectators.

He says: ‘I’m running for St John Ambulance because the charity’s volunteers have helped my dear old mum, who has dementia, on several occasions taking her to hospital after she’s fallen at home.’

Harry ran his first London Marathon last year, raising money for Dementia Care. ‘Seeing the money roll in was as rewarding as running. The whole experience was gruelling, fantastic and the best and worst thing I’ve ever done!’

Harry works as an engineering surveyor in the lift industry. His marathon training has included running three times a week around the Olympic Village with the Sweatshop in Stratford Westfield running club.

He plans to raise at least £1,800 for St John Ambulance. Anyone wishing to sponsor him can make a donation online at: virginmoneygiving.com/HarryPapanastasiou

Good luck Harry! We'll be with your every step of the way.

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