Rivals aim to break Marathon fundraising record

Two men have launched separate fundraising bids to break the £1.13m London Marathon sponsorship record in April.

Marathon novice Andrew Wessels, 30, who works at Carphone Warehouse, has already raised £100,000 from one week's fundraising. He plans to split the proceeds between four charities: Brainwave, WellBeing of Women, the Prince's Trust and Leukaemia Research. But his rival Steve Chalke, 49, who will support the Oasis Trust, which he founded in 1985, said it was too early to count how much he has raised so far.

Wessels has the backing of Carphone Warehouse's co-founders, Charles Dunstone and David Ross, who have both used their business contacts to gain further corporate support from Lord MacLaurin, chairman of the Vodafone Group, and others.

Wessels has launched a fundraising website, race formillions.org, and will write to all FTSE 250 companies to ask for sponsorship of £5,000-£10,000 each.

The Chalke camp was coy about its fundraising methods. A spokeswoman said: "A full research exercise has been conducted to identify possible supporters for the Oasis Academies, and potential high-value donors are being approached."

The record is held by John Spurling, who ran the marathon in 1999.

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