A SOUTH Lakes hotel manager will swap Cumbria for Tokyo when he undertakes the city’s marathon in aid of St John’s Hospice.

Wayne Bartholomew, manager of the Damson Dene Hotel at Crosthwaite, will complete the 26-mile course through the Japanese city after being inspired following a tour of the North Lancashire hospice.

“Twelve months ago my mother died in hospital,” explained Wayne, who shot to stardom in the fly-on-the-wall documentary The Hotel, shown on Channel Four back in 2011.

“When I took a tour of the hospice I saw the care they gave was so personal. I just wish my mum had been treated there, but I didn’t know what an amazing place it was then.

“That’ll be in my mind when I complete the marathon, and it’ll get me across the finish line, even if I have to crawl there!”

Mr Bartholomew, 49, has been training for the marathon, which is the fifth biggest in the world, by running in Bowness and Crosthwaite.

The marathon has been up to 10 times oversubscribed and this year he had to beat around 75,000 people to a place.

He will join around 35,000 others at the start line, on February 22, outside the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building.

During the run the former manager of the Wild Boar, Bowness, will pass the Imperial Palace, Tokyo Tower and the world’s largest fish market.

Completing the marathon will also enable him to cross another item off a ‘bucket list’ which has included him being in a television programme and performing in musical theatre.

“I made a list of things I want to do before I die and I think this is going to be a big one,” he continued.

“I’ll be 50 this year and it was something I wanted to do while I could.

“I also thought it was fitting because of the connection with Cumbria and Japan in terms of tourism. It’s a link with tourism in both countries.”

He has raised the cost of the challenge himself, meaning all money raised will go to the hospice.

Anybody who can sponsor him is asked to visit www.justgiving.com/runningtokyomarathon