A MARATHON runner is doing both the London and York marathons this year - dressed as a giant five-foot diameter poppy.

Owen Willis, 49, who comes from Malton originally and attended Malton School, will be running the races on behalf of SSAFA and The Royal British Legion.

He said: “I completed my last marathon at York in October 2014, at a time when the commemoration of the beginning of World War One was prevalent in people’s minds in the lead up to Remembrance Day.

"Having pushed very hard to achieve my target time, I promised myself that the next marathon would not only be at a more leisurely pace, but that in 2018 I would run for charity to mark 100 years since the end of the Great War.”

The two charities he is running for also provide valuable support to his day job at the White Rose Home Improvement Agency, implementing home-adaptations for disabled people, including ex-service personnel and their families, in Ryedale and Scarborough.

To sponsor the Big Poppy Marathon, visit justgiving.com/companyteams/BigPoppyMarathon