A SOUTH Lakeland man is running the London Marathon this month as a tribute to his uncle who was tragically killed in a traffic accident last year.

Ben Fiddler, of Sedbergh, will raise money for Northwest Blood Bikes Lancashire & Lakes (NWBB-LL). His uncle, Russell Curwen, had been riding a ‘blood bike’ for the voluntary organisation when he collided with a car on Caton Road, Lancaster, in May of last year.

Mr Fiddler, 18, described his uncle as a “great man” and said that his death had encouraged him to make changes in his own life - particularly as Mr Curwen had been an active and outdoors-minded person.

“I was smoking 10 cigarettes a day. I wasn’t doing much. Russ dying - it made me take a look at myself,” Mr Fiddler said.

“You can go at any moment, so you may as well make your time here useful.”

He added: “I lost interest [in running] in the last few years but this has given me a bit more inspiration to get back into it.”

Nigel Parrish, marketing manager for NWBB-LL and a rider himself, described Mr Curwen as a “larger than life character in the nicest sense.”

“It [Mr Curwen’s death] left a huge a hole in our organisation and the circumstances shocked everybody to the core,” he added.

The Westmorland Gazette: Russell Curwen with his mother Helen CurwenRussell Curwen with his mother Helen Curwen

There will be special tributes paid to Mr Curwen on 5 May to mark the one year anniversary of his death. NWBB-LL have organised a private memorial ride from Caton Road Park and Ride, Lancaster, up to Kendal Rugby Club, with each person attending making a donation of at least £5 to the organisation. According to Mr Parrish the Ashton Memorial in Williamson Park, Lancaster, will be lit up in green on the evening of the same day, as this was Mr Curwen’s favourite colour.

To donate to Mr Fiddler’s cause, visit: https://www.facebook.com/donate/2235757226483956.

Also running the London Marathon for charity is Dr Michael Greene MBE, from Kendal. Dr Greene, who has been a mountain rescue doctor for over 25 years, is raising funds for the Salvation Army.

To donate go to: www.justgiving.com/mike-greene.