A father and son from Hartford raised thousands of pounds for the Rainforest Foundation UK (RFUK) after completing the London Marathon on Sunday.

Alex and his dad AndrewAlex and his dad Andrew

Alex Valentine, 26, took on the challenge with dad Andrew, despite never having completed a marathon before.

Alex said: “We ran for RFUK because although they’re a small charity, the work they do is so important.

“The struggles that the rainforests and their indigenous people face every day feel like something removed from us in the UK like it’s someone else’s problem and too far away for us to do anything about, but that’s where RFUK come in”

This year’s event was officially the hottest marathon on record with peak temperatures of 24 degrees for the 40,000 runners that took part.

Alex and his dad AndrewAlex and his dad Andrew

Both Andrew and Alex completed the marathon in 5hrs 10 mins 22secs.

Alex said: “My dad has been a keen runner for many years, and had previously applied and missed out on a marathon place due to injury.

“He’s always said he wanted to run one, and over the last few years I have been inspired by various people I know taking on the challenge.

“So this time last year I said let’s just go for it! We both got in on the RFUK team and began our training journey, it’s a journey we started and finished together and something we’ll both cherish for the rest of our lives.

“We followed the London Marathon training plan religiously over the last 16 weeks in particular, so come race day we felt confident and were in the best possible shape we could be!

“We crossed the finish line together holding our hands together in the air for a little victory crossing over the line, and I’ll always remember that it was like the end of a pilgrimage we’d started and finished together.

“When we had our medals placed over our head after the finish line someone back there was cutting onions as well I’m sure of it.”

So far the pair has raised nearly £2,000 for the charity, but wants to hit their target of £3,750.

Alex said: “My dad and I want to thank all our family and friends or their support as well – it made an overwhelming experience of completing a marathon even more so knowing that everyone was behind us.”

If you want to sponsor Alex or his dad you can visit https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/alex-valentine-SAVMLMBONDS3332018-820124 or https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/andrew-valentine-SAVMLMBONDS3332018.