IT IS believed to be the world’s biggest and most popular marathon in the world, with hundreds of people flying from all over the world to run it.

But this year, among the thousands of people running the New York Marathon there will also be a Romsey resident who will raise money to help vulnerable children.

James Gay, 49, will fly to the United States next month to take part in the marathon on November 4.

The accountant will run across the five boroughs of the city to raise money for vulnerable children in Africa.

After riding from Lands End to John O’Groats last year, Mr Gay was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and although he undertook a series of running and cycling challenges this year, he had not envisioned taking on a marathon.

But then he decided to raise money for Kick4Life.

The charity works with vulnerable people in Lesotho, in Africa.

The country has one of the highest HIV infection rates in the world; James visited the charity in 2014.

“In seeing the effects of poverty and HIV, but hoards of happy school children it was a life changing moment,”he said.

“After that experience he said he did not feel he could say no when the charity asked him to run this year’s New York marathon: “My personal motto is to ‘be a player and not a spectator’ and having seen first hand the work the charity does I decided to support them financially – you can’t change every life but hopefully if it changes a few it would have been successful.

“I had been training for the Great North Run in September but had a late call from Kick4Life asking for volunteers. I’ve not run a marathon for 16 years but when opportunity knocks you have to take it.”

To support Mr Gay and donate, visit