A RUNNER from Montgomery is set to return to the London Marathon and is determined to make it to the finish line this time around.

Mark Swallow was so close to the finish line he could almost see it when he collapsed with heat exhaustion 25 miles into the London Marathon last year.

It was a devastating end to months of training.

Barnardo's the chairty he will be running for believe he has shown particular grit and determination to dust himself off and repeat the gruelling schedule ready for this year’s event on April 22.

Mark, 43, who is dad to Flynn, nine, and Lyra, seven, is running in aid of the children’s charity Barnardo’s Cymru and believes he has learnt enough since his first ill-fated marathon attempt to complete the course this time.

Mark, said: “My wife Lucy had waved me on at 24.5 miles but at 25 miles I collapsed.

"I knew nothing about it until I woke up in the medical tent. Since then I’ve learnt how to keep myself cool and this year I’ll be making sure I pour a lot of water over myself while I’m on the course.

“It has been quite tough getting back into training, but despite the way my first marathon ended it was still a wonderful experience.

"I think the runners get through the first half on euphoria alone.

"The support from complete strangers in the crowd shouting your name and willing you on is amazing.

“I wanted to run for Barnardo’s because I’ve always been a keen supporter of children’s charities.

"I always felt loved and safe as a child but there are many children who don’t. I organised a sponsored walk for the NSPCC when I was nine, at 15 I crawled seven miles in scuba gear for Children in Need and Lucy and I have supported SOS Children’s Villages since our wedding.”

Mark, who works in the insurance industry, divides his training between the countryside surrounding his home near Montgomery and pounding the streets of London.

His preparation has been affected by snow and a chest infection but he is determined to make it across the finishing line this time.

“I’ve had wonderful support from my family while I’ve been training and I’m really looking forward to a great day.”

You can support Mark by visiting uk.virginmoneygiving.com/MarkSwallow3