Shadow chancellor Ed Balls to run London Marathon
Labour's shadow chancellor Ed Balls has revealed he will be among the thousands of runners taking part in this year's London Marathon.
The 45-year-old former schools secretary confirmed his intention to run after being seen by a Twitter user training in London's Regent's Park.
Asked about the sighting during an appearance at the Guardian's Open Weekend, Mr Balls said he was "completely madly" preparing for the marathon in four weeks' time, despite his busy professional life, which in recent weeks has seen him leading Labour's opposition to last week's Budget.
The MP revealed that he had been training for the 26.2-mile run through the streets of London for six months.
His longest run so far has been 18 miles, a distance he completed in three hours and 45 minutes.
"I'm finally at the peak of training. It's quite nerve-racking, the training's very hard. It's probably a crazy thing to do," he said.
Mr Balls will be running to help raise funds for disabled children's charity Whizz-Kidz.
He said he had been at a charity event for Whizz-Kidz 18 months ago when the head of the charity told the audience that the 45-year-old MP had agreed to do the marathon. "It was total news to me," Mr Balls told the newspaper.
Ruth Owen, chief executive of Whizz-Kidz, added: "Ed is a strong champion of disabled children, and their right to an accessible education and active childhood.
"In taking on this challenge, Ed will be helping many more young disabled people get the right mobility equipment they need to live independently."
If, like the shadow chancellor, you're planning on taking part in this year's Virgin London Marathon on April 22nd, then you could reward yourself for all your hard work with a stay at a luxury hotel in London.
A trip to a day spa in London could also be the perfect way to unwind and recuperate after your run.