THE CHELMSFORD Marathon is now just weeks away and already over 1,500 people have signed up for the inaugural event.

The marathon is has been set up by The J’s Hospice, and running the event will be a childhood friend of the man the hospice was set up in memory of.

The hospice is a home service for young adults with life limiting illnesses. It was set up by Denise Whiffin in 2004 after her son Johnathan, 19, died after suffering from duchennes muscular dystrophy.

His mate Nick Pettifer will be running the race to raise vital funds for the charity.

Nick said: “I was in Johnathan's class all through The Cathedral School and have some very fond memories of him - especially him winning the egg and spoon race at Sports Day! I'm delighted to be able to do something to help raise some more money for such a fantastic cause.”

If you would like to sponsor Nick, visit his fundraising page at

To find out more about the Chelmsford Marathon, which takes place on Sunday, October 19, or to sign up, go to