Two students are gearing up for a marathon challenge in aid of the Telegraph & Argus Bradford Crocus Cancer Appeal.

Marc Howard and his friend Lucas Zimmer will be running in the Greater Manchester Marathon on Sunday, April 6, in support of the £1 million fundraising drive.

Mr Howard, who is studying International Relations at Bradford University, said: “The Crocus Appeal is a fantastic cause. I have lost a sibling to cancer and I am aware of how it has affected many others and their families.”

As a member of the university and Bradford Airedale athletics clubs, he is used to long-distance running. “I reckon we are ready for the challenge, as far as possible anyway,” said the 28-year-old of Godwin Street, Bradford.

“We have been training for several months now and our final training runs are progressing well.”

Mr Zimmer, 24, is a postgraduate student at Leeds University who graduated from Bradford University last year with a BA in International Relations and Security Studies.

The Crocus Cancer Appeal aims to raise the £1 million to buy vital equipment for cancer research at Bradford University.

It is a joint initiative between the University, the Telegraph & Argus, Yorkshire Cancer Research and Sovereign Healthcare Trust.

Money raised will be used to help buy a mass spectrometer for the University’s Institute of Cancer Therapeutics. It is hoped the machine will allow scientists to study the role of proteins in cancer ten times faster than ever before and hold the key to them making a vital discovery in the war on cancer.

It could help the department develop less toxic cancer treatments to help sufferers around the world.

The appeal is being run in conjunction with the university, the Yorkshire Cancer Research charity and the Sovereign Health Care Charitable Trust.

Readers can support the appeal by organising an event or making a donation. The T&A website has details of how to donate online, by cheque, text message, in person or by post.

To support the appeal, e-mail or call (01274) 233166.

The pair can be sponsored at CrocusMarathon.