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Marathon Man Davis Raising Charity Cash

Mark DavisSnooker ace Mark Davis will be running the Hastings Half Marathon this Sunday to raise money for a local hospice.

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And the world number 25 hopes he will recover in time to be fit for the Ladbrokes Players Championship, which starts in Manchester on Tuesday.

Davis, who lives in Hastings, has been training for the 13-mile run for the past six months. “I have done one half-marathon before but that was six years ago,” said the 43-year-old. “When I started training this time I did two miles and it nearly killed me. But I have built it up since then and hopefully I’m ready for it.

“Last time I finished it in two hours and nine minutes so my target is to beat that. I’m raising money for St Michael’s Hospice (Hastings and Rother). One of my friends passed away there and the way they looked after him was fantastic. But they need £3.5million a year just to keep going.

“The running helps with my fitness as well and hopefully that will be good for my snooker. Last season, by the time I got to the World Championship I was shattered.”

Davis admits, however, he could struggle in Manchester next week. The Ladbrokes Players Championship is taking place at Event City for the first time and runs from March 22 to 27. Davis faces Mark Allen in his opening match on Wednesday afternoon.

“I might be hobbling around a bit,” he said. “Last time I did the half marathon I could barely walk for three days afterwards, though I have trained better for it this time.”

Davis won a televised tournament in the UK for the first time in January when he beat Darren Morgan in the final of the World Seniors Championship in Preston. And he has not given up hope of climbing into the top 16 ahead of this year’s World Championship.

Mark Davis“It is possible,” he added. “I’d probably need to get to the final in Manchester next week or at the China Open, or maybe reach two semi-finals. It’s a big ask but I’ll just give my best in every game. I have only ever been in the top 16 for the World Championship once so if I have to qualify I’m used to it.

“I haven’t played badly this season but I have just missed too many easy balls. There are three massive tournaments left and I’m right up for it.”

Top stars competing for the £100,000 top prize in Manchester include Mark Selby, Judd Trump, Shaun Murphy, Ding Junhui and Mark Williams.

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