One step closer to marathon milestone for Milton Keynes man thanks to donation from local theme park

    Wayne Walker is one step closer to a unique marathon running milestone and raising thousands for charity thanks to a generous donation from Gulliver's Land.

    Wayne, who has worked as a fitter at the Milton Keynes theme park resort for 22 years, will be running the TCS London Marathon on October 2 in aid of national children's charity Dreams Come True.

    Gulliver's Land is supporting his fundraising by pledging to donate £1 from each ticket sold for Grandparents' Weekend, on October 1st and 2nd.

    The annual tradition offers two grandparents free entry into Gulliver's Land when accompanied by at least one full paying person.

    Remarkably, this year's race will be the 94th marathon Wayne, from Willen, has competed in.

    His first 26-miler was the Milton Keynes marathon in 2012 and he is now just seven marathons away from joining the prestigious 100 Marathon Club.

    Wayne, 46, said: "I got into running for better mental health and to get fit. The thing I like most about marathons is it's a big challenge and when you finish you feel a sense of achievement.

    "The London Marathon and big city ones have a really good atmosphere as well."

    Wayne, part of Leighton Fun Runners club, has competed in marathons and ultramarathons throughout the country and twice completed the London Marathon, in 2016 and 2017.

    The 2017 London Marathon included five team members from the four Gulliver's UK theme parks running in aid of Dreams Come True.

    The charity provides moments of magic to children living with a disability, serious illness or life-limiting condition in the UK's most deprived areas.

    Wayne said: "It's great to be running to help kids' dreams come true. It's such a worthy cause and the charity raises money for children to do things like go to Disneyland or swim with dolphins. Thinking about that spurs me on a bit when I'm training and running the races.

    "I really appreciate the support I'm receiving from Gulliver's Land. It should cover most of the fundraising I need to raise in order to run and it's great for staff morale for them to back their team members like this."

    Dean Kimberley, Director of Loyalty & Marketing at Gulliver's Theme Park Resorts, who ran the 2017 London Marathon with the Gulliver's team, said: "We are thrilled to support Wayne in his efforts to reach the 100 Marathon Club and, more importantly, to raise money for such an important charity.

    "We are proud of our partnerships with various charities and organise regular fundraising drives to support worthy causes in the community."

    To support Wayne and those running for Dreams Come True in this year's TCS London Marathon, you can visit JustGiving here.

    For more information on Grandparents' Weekend and to book tickets in advance, head to the Gulliver's website.

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