A Loughton student will be the youngest runner in this year’s London Marathon.

Tom Jarvis, of The Avenue, Loughton turns 18, the minimum age for competitors, on Friday, just two days before the event.

The student only started running six months ago, as a way of keeping fit while his bike was being repaired, but has already raised well over £2,000 through support from family and friends, as well as holding quiz nights at his local church, St Edmunds.

Tom, a former pupil of Davenant School, who now attends Harlow College, is taking part in the Marathon on behalf of charity The Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD).

The marathon is not Tom’s first experience of fundraising for CAFOD, a charity he has supported since primary school, having been on campaign marches and abseiled down the Harlow Water Tower.

He said: “The Marathon is my next challenge to raise awareness of the charity. I’m really excited and a little nervous. I can’t believe I’m the youngest, but I certainly won’t be the quickest!

"I know eating pasta and getting an early night will be a strange way to spend my 18th birthday, but it will all be worth it on the Sunday, and I’ll make up for the lack of celebrations once I’ve recovered.”

You can sponsor Tom via his JustGiving page www.justgiving.com/Thomas-Jarvis1