SANDHURST Town Council's Chief Executive, Chris Smith, is currently putting his best foot forward as he gets into training for this year's London Marathon on April 14.

Chris, who made his distance running debut at the first Fleet Half Marathon 21 years ago, has never run a marathon before but is quietly confident. He is one of more than 200 runners on Mencap's marathon team who hope to raise more than £200,000 for the leading UK disability charity.

He began his training programme with a 20 mile walk and is now taking his kit to work so that when time permits he can run the five-and-a- half mile return journey between the council offices and his home in Hawley.

He told the Star: "I can't say it's been a lifelong ambition to take part but 12 months ago I was injured and I am not as fit as I like to be. It is also a very good cause and the local offices could do with the money."

Chris, who is 50, is being helped and advised by Julie Rendall, a physiotherapist operating from the Sandhurst Surgery. He also trains twice a week in the gym and pool at the Spirit Health Club in Farnborough.

Chris recently became Berkshire's first council clerk to get a clerk's accreditation from the University of Gloucestershire. The certificate was presented to him at the last Sandhurst Town Council meeting.

The Mayor, Coun. Peter North, said: "Chris is an extremely hardworking chap and a great asset for Sandhurst. It is hard to keep up with him sometimes."

If you would like to sponsor Chris ring him at work on 01252 879060 or call into the town council offices or the Coffee Spot at Sandhurst Memorial Park.