A CHARITY founder is gearing up for the New York Marathon in a bid to provide more children with life-saving surgery.

Garreth Wood and wife Nicola set up Edinburgh-based Kids Operating Room, a charity which installs paediatric surgeries in low and middle-income countries, in 2018.

Kids Operating Room is the only global charity to focus on paediatric surgery and has created capacity for 100,000 operations and installed more than 60 operating rooms.

Mr Wood said: “Kids Operating Room is my lifelong passion and I believe wholeheartedly in the work we do to save children’s lives.

“Although this is my debut marathon, I feel really motivated taking on this challenge and I will do whatever it takes to fundraise for thousands more children to receive successful surgery in KidsOR’s operating rooms.

“This is my first ever marathon and I can’t think of a better place to do it.

“I hope that some supportive Scots might be up for joining in and running past some of the world’s greatest landmarks, improving children’s lives with every mile.”

The New York Marathon’s course covers all five boroughs of New York, starting at Staten Island, heading through Brooklyn into Queens, before entering Manhattan.

After a trip into the Bronx, runners head back down into Manhattan and enter Central Park, where they finish.

Now Mr Wood, who lives in Gifford, is looking for people to join him on the start line.

The charity – which can arrange both flights and accommodation – has access to a number of spaces for the Big Apple run, and Mr Wood hopes that fellow county residents will take up the coveted places for the event on November 5.

Participants are being asked to fundraise a minimum of £1,000 for Kids Operating Room to claim a space.

The New York Marathon is the biggest marathon in the world, with just over 50,000 spaces available but with twice as many applicants, so entries are highly sought after.

Kids Operating Room is one of the few UK charities able to offer a space.

Mr Wood, 44, was a successful businessman and owned The Speratus Group and a portfolio of bars and restaurants, including the Boozy Cow brand.

He sold them in 2017 to set up the charity.

He said: “We hope this is a golden opportunity for runners or would-be runners to fulfil a lifetime ambition and complete this bucket list challenge.

“I’m just starting my training and hope that, by encouraging participants to sign up now, they will feel supported and motivated to prepare for this incredible event.”

For more information, go to www.kidsor.org