A Manxman is to run a marathon in honour of his best friend who suddenly died after contracting meningitis last month.

21-year-old Charles Kenny, from Douglas, has been raising money online to build a memorial garden in tribute of Lucas Martin, and is set to lace up his running shoes and compete in the Oulton Park Running Grand Prix in Rushton, Northamptonshire next month.

But for those 26.2 miles on November 26, he’ll have a bigger motivator on his mind than a medal - his late best friend Lucas.

Affectionately nicknamed ‘Looky’ by his family, 21-year-old Lucas had recently graduated from the University of Liverpool and was working at Martin family run business Carshop, and since his tragic death touching tributes have been paid by sporting clubs and his former high school King Williams College.

His family have since set up a website in his honour, LookyMartin.com, and plan on unveiling a charity in his name to help support young people across the island.

But it’s his closest friends that are hoping to create an area that can be used by all that knew and loved Lucas.

They’re in the process of planning a memorial garden, with them currently eyeing up different sites, but money is required to fund the landscaping, construction, various plants and a memorial bench.

Aiming to have it completed in the next year, Charles wants to raise as much cash as quickly as possible to ensure the garden is a ‘safe and unique space for Lucas’s friends and family to go to remember him’, as well as a spot for a barbecue and a beer, one of Lucas’s favourite activities.

He said: ‘My friends and I don’t want his memory to die, because he was such a live, charismatic, humorous man and he obviously lives on in our memories but we want a tangible place where we can go and remember him.

‘We’re going to have a memorial bench, some nice plants, and maybe lay some concrete there if we want to put up a bit of shelter.

Lucas Martin

‘The location is undecided right now, we’re picking through a few different options, but it’s going to be an undisturbed place where you’re not going to get dog walkers going through it and stuff like that, just a nice private memorial garden where we can go and share memories, have a beer and a barbecue because Lucas would’ve loved that.

‘He loved plans like that, to go out and have a few beers, so something like this will make his memory live on.’

Charles said he had always wanted to run a marathon, and he has no doubt that this will give him the fuel he needs to complete it.

‘I know that the sheer love I have for the man will carry me through’ he said.

‘26 miles is a bit of a task but after I heard the news there was no other option, I was always going to do something like that.

‘I’ve always wanted to do it [run a marathon] but with my best mate dying I felt I had no other option.’

However it’s not just the physical aspect of the run Charles has been training for.

He added: 'Even with training now, I’ve got a strict 8-week schedule, and it’s not just about training physically but mentally training to get through it.

‘When I’m struggling on a run, I’ll just get my phone out and look at his face, and that gives me a lot more power and I know I’m doing it for such a great cause.

‘Regardless of how my physical body is feeling, I don’t think anything is going to stop me doing this.’

Lucas Martin at his graduation at the University of Liverpool

Charles said all of his friends will always carry a part of Lucas with them, and continue to strive for a better life, which is ‘exactly what Lucas would’ve wanted’.

He added: ‘His character was so distinct, anytime there’s a minor problem or anxiety in my day to day life, I can hear him telling me what to do, and that is so powerful’.

Charles has already raised more than £4,500 as part of the appeal and people can donate at: www.gofundme.com/marathon-for-lucas-martins-memorial-garden.