A first-time marathon runner from Falmouth is in the top three per cent of fundraisers in this year’s London Marathon.

Paul Wickes is looking likely to raise more than £6,500 for the RNLI – beating his original target by £2,000.

Not only has the London Marathon confirmed he is in the top three per cent of fundraisers from the 41,400 runners who took part in this year’s event, but his fundraising is currently one of the three highest amounts collected for the RNLI in this year’s marathon.

The 58-year-old, who had never run a marathon before, completed it in five hours, 56 minutes and 38 seconds.

A spokesperson for Falmouth RNLI said: “Thank you and well done to Paul. A fantastic achievement.”

Falmouth mayor Grenville Chappel has now presented a framed citation to Paul Wickes, who is an MBE and chair of the RNLI South and West Cornwall Event Group.

Paul ran during training and the race itself with his friend Fred Thomas, aka Betty Stogs, who was also presented with a citation by the mayor for his fundraising achievements over the years.

Congratulating him, Mr Chappel said: “What he has done for the lifeboat is absolutely tremendous, the effort has been amazing.”

Although raising money for Children’s Hospice South West during the marathon, Betty has raised many thousands of pounds for the RNLI in the past and will be doing so again at the forthcoming Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival in June.

Paul and Fred were able to support each other during the marathon to ensure that they both crossed the finish line.

In response to the presentation, Paul said: “It’s always humbling to be singled out. We’re not doing it for us, we’re doing it for the cause and this was always about the lifeboat crew and that’s the motivation, that’s what spurred me on.

“The run was a personal achievement and I actually surprised myself. A lot of people have helped with achieving this, not just the people that donated. These include my wife Pauline and son Dave. It was a team effort and it wouldn’t have been possible without their support.”

He thanked the Cornish Pirates, which supported Paul with a short Facebook video from first team coach Gavin Cattle and donated two first team shirts signed by the coaching staff and players, together with two books on the history of the Cornish Pirates club, to auction. The proceeds were then split between the two charities, the RNLI and Children’s Hospice South West.

A number of Falmouth RNLI volunteers attended the reception at the council chamber and speaking on behalf of Falmouth Lifeboat Station, deputy launching authority Andy Angove congratulated Paul and thanked him for his hard work and fantastic support for the station, saying: “The money he has raised will continue to help our volunteer crew members save lives at sea.”