HUSBAND and wife Tom and Emma Smith are taking to the streets of the capital on Sunday, April 28 to run the Virgin Money London Marathon.
It is the start of an exciting period for the Mossley AFC Running Club members who mark milestone birthdays this year.
Tom, soon to be 60, and Emma, who is nearly 50, are also competing in the Mont Blanc half marathon in June and Jungfrau Marathon in Switzerland in September.
“These are highlight races, glamour events we would not normally take part in,” explained Tom, a former pupil at Mossley Hollins.
The pair from Ashton had different routes into this year’s London race which will be Tom’s fourth marathon, but first London.
Tom was unsuccessful in the ballot, which he entered for the first time, but landed the one place Mossley AFC Running Club was allocated.
Emma, meanwhile, qualified for a place in London through being “good for age” as her best time for a marathon in 3:27.
Tom is raising funds for Willow Wood Hospice and already has been pledged more than £2,500.
He was inspired for that cause because John Fisher, his friend and best man at his wedding, has terminal cancer.
Tom has twice previously run the Manchester Marathon and also completed the Chester Marathon and had impressive times of 3:28, 3:29 and 3:34.
The full-time DJ also recalled an unusual sequence of events when he and Emma completed the Chester Marathon.
“Emma’s race number was 327 and mine 328 and our times were 3:27 and 3:28 which was freaky,” he joked.
Yet it was only six years ago that Tom, who had previously done hiking and cycling, took up running.
“I was the person who took short cuts when doing cross country at the school,” he joked.
Tom, who spent some of his childhood in Mossley, initially joined East Cheshire Harriers but switched to the Mossley club just over two years ago because of more convenient training times.
He described the Mossley club as “a wonderful community with a lot of heart and soul”.
Tom, who has been running about 45 miles each week in training, is pleased with his preparations.
He added the pair are competitive, explaining: “I am a typical competitive male and would kill to beat Emma.
“I can normally stay with her up to half marathon. Anything longer than that, I cannot keep pace with her.”