Competitive Paul takes on marathon

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Ex-footballer Paul Rumble has not lost the competitive edge of a professional sportsman, and will be setting himself an extra challenge when he runs the Brighton Marathon this April.

“I want to complete the marathon in less than four hours,” explained Paul, who played for Watford and then Maidstone until he was 24. “I can’t help it, I set myself targets. Once a sportsman, always a sportsman.”

Paul, 41, of Chaulden Lane in Hemel Hempstead, is running the marathon to raise money for the Berkhamsted-based Hospice of St Francis.

In 2009 he dressed up as Father Christmas to run in a Santa Dash for the charity, and has had a passion for running ever since.

“Ever since I’ve just wanted to carry on,” said Paul.

He has enjoyed regaining the fitness he once had as a footballer, and has already dropped down to the weight he was when he was playing professionally.

“It’s a personal challenge for me to do the marathon, but I know that the staff at the hospice face a personal challenge every day,” says Paul.

“They do great work and most local people will come into contact with the hospice at some point in their lives, so it is a lovely charity to support.”

Paul has been a full-time dad to his two children, Rebecca, nine, and Harry, three, since he was made redundant two years ago from his job in engineering.

“I run at 9.30am every morning after the kids are dropped off at school, and at 7.30am on a Saturday, so Friday night drinks are out!” he said.

If you would like to run the marathon for the hospice call 01442 869555 or email

Registration costs £40 and the minimum fundraising target is £750.