A LONG-STANDING doctor from West Devon is taking on three extreme challenges within two months for two worthwhile charities.

Dr Graham Johnson, based at Tavyside Surgery in Tavistock and Lifton Surgery, has been a popular doctor in the area for many years — and is not shy of a marathon, having already completed two in 1997 and 2004.

But 15 years later Graham is setting his sites on not one but two marathons back-to-back followed by the cycling event, the Dartmoor Classic Grande of 107 miles, on June 23. The first challenge is the London Marathon on April 28 followed by Edinburgh Marathon on May 26 and his chosen charities are the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity and Lifton Community Centre.

‘Having unsuccessfully applied through the ballot every year since I last ran the London Marathon in 2004, I was very happy and grateful to be given the chance to run it again by the kind people of Lifton Community Centre, who have given me their allocated entry,’ said Graham.

‘I would like to beat my best ever time for a marathon (London 1997) of 3h 34m but recognise that might be a tall order — under four hours would be satisfying.’

He added: ‘Thank you all in anticipation — helping to build a community spirit in a West Devon village, and helping to rebuild servicemen and servicewomen’s disrupted lives.’