A former Marine and a welder are in the final stages of training for the London marathon.

Lee Swales and Max Halsall, who both work for Fairport Containers in Adlington, decided to run the iconic race in the capital to raise money for Cancer Research – the charity they have been supporting all year.

Lee, from Coppull and Max, from Leyland, who are both 32, will be taking part in their first marathon in aid of a cause close to their hearts.

The pair hope the run will help push the business past its £20,000 fundraising target for the year. Welder Lee, who has worked at the firm in Market Place for 11 years, said: “Our boss asked if anyone would be interested in running the London Marathon for Cancer Research UK and it is something that Max and I had always talked about doing when we were younger, before we had kids.

“Both my mum and Max’s nan passed away from cancer, so the charity couldn’t be a better one for us personally and we want to do the very best we can for them.”

The pair began training in October with 10-mile runs and are now running at least 18 miles each time around Lancashire.

They have also been given free access to Wing Tchun Martial Arts Fitness gym in Chorley, so they can train in bad weather, and are hoping to complete the 26.2-mile course in less than four hours.

Former Marine Max said: “We had applied before for the marathon and been turned down, and to be honest I didn’t expect we would get a place this time, as so many people want to take part. I thought Lee was joking when he said we’d got in, I couldn’t believe how lucky we were.

“When I left the Marines in 2008 I swore I’d never run again, but there was no way I could turn this down. It is hard going out training after a full day’s work, but it will be worth it to cross that finish line and see the total we have raised.”

Fairport Containers’ managing director, Steve Collinson, added: “We are hugely proud that Lee and Max have secured a place in this fantastic event. Places are highly sought after, with more than 100,000 people applying to take part every year, and just one third of these receiving a place. We are sure they will do us, and Cancer Research UK, proud.”

To sponsor Lee and Max go to www.justgiving.com/maxandlee.