The owner of a well known restaurant on the Lizard Peninsula will be running the Virgin Money London Marathon on his 51st birthday on April 28 in aid of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).

Neil Woodward, who owns and runs the award-winning The Greenhouse fine dining restaurant in St Keverne with his wife Leonie, completed his final training run by running from his home in Redruth to Penlee Lifeboat Station, 29 miles away, where he was greeted by Station Mechanic Tony Rendle.

Neil has also run to Newquay and St Ives lifeboat stations during his training programme.

He said: "My wife and I spend a lot of our spare time walking coastal paths and beaches, and the presence of the RNLI is never far away. We also run a restaurant on the Lizard and know several fishermen and have many connections with the communities in the area. Although we don't necessarily know any crew members directly, we know how important the RNLI is to them.

"Since moving to Cornwall I've also taken up surfing which has become an important part of my life, and it has changed my understanding and relationship with the sea. You always have to remember though that it's still a dangerous place to be.

"This will be my second marathon, I ran the 2018 VMLM and really enjoyed it, so much that I applied straight away for this year's. I had already decided that to run for the RNLI would be my first choice and hoped to get a place.

"Last year a lot of my training was on the mining trails around Redruth, and on the coast to coast from Portreath to Devoran. This year I really wanted to challenge myself. I'm hoping to run as close to, or under the four hour mark. This means putting in a lot of running. Every three weeks you do a long run gradually building the distance up to and beyond 26 miles.

"Being able to run this sort of distance before the race really makes a difference, it's a massive confidence boost knowing that you're completely prepared for race day.

"Once I'd done a couple of runs to Hayle my confidence increased and I set my sights on St Ives, Newquay and Penzance. The idea to finish at the lifeboat stations just came naturally, it seemed put more focus on my runs and why I'm running for the RNLI."

Neil added: "I have to thank my wife Leonie for the sterling work she has done fundraising for me."

The RNLI provides a 24-hour rescue service around the coasts of the UK and Ireland, and on the River Thames. The charity relies on public donations to fund its lifesaving work.

Emily Weaver, Events Manager at the RNLI, said: "Our marathon runners are going the extra mile for the RNLI. On top of training for their personal running challenge, they will be raising funds to help the charity’s lifeboat crews and lifeguards continue their lifesaving work. No doubt the marathon will be a huge challenge, but we hope they can enjoy it and feel a huge sense of pride in knowing they’ve done it in aid of a lifesaving charity.

"We’d love to see lots of people around the route, joining us at our cheering stations, to support our runners and spur them on to the finish line.

"Thank you and good luck to all the inspirational runners supporting our cause this year!"

Neil’s sponsorship page can be found at: