Triathlete Sam Holness, the first known autistic athlete to compete at the 70.3 Ironman World Championships is taking on his own London Marathon today.

Despite being delayed by illness, triathlete Sam Holness is set to take on a virtual London Marathon challenge in support of Mencap.

Having suffered gastrointestinal (GI) issues, a common issue for those with austim, on his flight back from the 70.3 Ironman World Championships in the United States, Sam’s London Marathon plans were dashed – but he didn’t want to let the charity down.

“I love to run and was looking forward to taking on the marathon and raise some money for Mencap,” says Sam.

Sam has rescheduled his marathon for 15th of October at Bushy Park in southwest London, where he will run five laps of a familiar loop making up the 26.2 mile timed challenge.

“I would have really liked to run on the day of the Marathon, but I just wasn’t feeling well enough. This is my hometown, so the event is really special to me.

“I really didn’t want to miss out – and this is a great way to still run and support the Mencap who help so many people.”

This will be Sam’s first full, outdoor marathon. He’s set himself a goal of three hours and thirty minutes, but will be happy with any time under four hours.

Sam has worked with his local Mencap organisation from a young age, and he continues to support the organisation.

Mencap is a UK non-profit organisation that provides support to people with learning disabilities and their families, while fighting alongside of them for a better future.

Sam says: “I am supporting Mencap to help raise the awareness of autism and how sport and exercise can provide a healthy lifestyle to everyone.”

Follow Sam’s marathon challenge on Instagram at @samholnesstri, and to donate to Mencap visit here