Alex runs for charity that helped his da

Jon WelchA Norwich student has his eyes set on a record when he runs his first-ever marathon in aid of a charity close to his heart.Alex Mansell, 20, will be running the Berlin Marathon in aid of the Spinal Injuries Association (SIA).Jon Welch

A Norwich student has his eyes set on a record when he runs his first-ever marathon in aid of a charity close to his heart.

Alex Mansell, 20, will be running the Berlin Marathon in aid of the Spinal Injuries Association (SIA).

His father Peter suffered a spinal injury in a car crash in 1978, aged 21, and later became chief executive of the charity.

Alex, a second-year history and politics student at the University of East Anglia, said: 'The charity means a lot to me. As a child, I would get taken into work by my dad and I'd help out, doing some basic admin work.


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'While I was there I met a lot of paralysed people and saw what the charity did to help them. When people suffer a spinal injury and go from walking to not walking, they need help with lots of things, from getting about to having a bath.

'The charity can offer assistance with that and also offers advice and support to families.'

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Alex, of Doris Road, Norwich, took up running last year after being inspired by the London Marathon. He ran last November's City of Norwich Half-Marathon in a time of 2hrs 4secs.

When he runs in Berlin on September 26, he has a target time of 3hrs 45mins, but will also be eyeing the UEA marathon record in 3hrs 37mins 34secs, held by James Colley.

'I think I have a very good chance. I did the Norwich half-marathon in two hours with very little training, so hopefully I can do it,' he said.

'Training's going really well. I've been doing three or four runs a week and I'm slowly building up the mileage.'

Alex, whose family is from Bromley, Kent, had hoped to raise �12 for each of the race's 42km (26.2 miles), a total of �504, but has already had �365 in pledges, so plans to aim even higher.

To sponsor Alex, visit www.justgiving.com/mance-is-running

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