A father will be running the New York marathon thanks to his daughter's inspiration and his bosses' support.

Michael Pritchard, 43, will run the 26.2 miles tomorrow to raise cash for Hospice At Home West Cumbria.

Michael's employers, Flimby's New Balance, sponsor the marathon. Bosses asked their employees all over the world to bid for one of four places they had available on the race. And Michael made the cut, together with two colleagues from Japan and one from the US.

And it was his daughter's "fierce independence" that bagged him the place.

Michael, who is an operations manager, said: "We had to say what would inspire us to train for the New York marathon and my daughter Ella Pearl was my inspiration. New Balance pride themselves in being independent and not copying what their competitors are doing. I explained how Ella at two-and-a-half years old is so fiercely independent, she is strong willed and tackles everything head-on - she's not afraid to fall down. My daughter is one of the most important people in my life and she's my inspiration."

Michael had never really been a runner before he decided to enter one of the most popular marathons in the world. He had toyed with the idea of doing a marathon before he turned 40, but never managed to motivate himself.

"I found myself fortunate to be in this position that working for New Balance they gave me the opportunity to do it. I don't think I would have had the opportunity otherwise or would have even pushed myself to do it. And to be able to give something back to a charity such as Hospice At Home is just amazing," he added.

Michael said that when he told his colleagues he had won the place for the marathon, they organised an on-the-spot collection which raised £600 in just 20 minutes.

Michael chose the West Cumbrian charity because of the support they offer local families.

He said: "My mum, who sadly isn't with us anymore, has COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) and needed nurses to care for her in the latter part of her life. What these people do is making life a little easier for families and it's just fantastic."

Michael has been training for around three-and-a-half months. He said he did not do as much training as he could have done during the heatwave in the summer, so now he has to go out rain or shine. His latest training route has taken him from Cockermouth to Silloth via Great Broughton and Maryport.

And the Great Cumbrian run was his first competitive event.

Michael said: "I feel as ready as I probably ever will be, I feel relatively good, although I could have done more training."

His fiancee Kerry Scott and Ella will not be able to join him in New York, however Kerry's brother and his son, who live in the US, will meet him there before the race.

Michael said: "My family can't join me, which is upsetting as I would have liked my daughter and my partner to be there. But her family will be there supporting me all the way.

"For me it's about raising as much as possible for Hospice, that's what will get me to the finish line - that and thinking of my daughter."

To sponsor Michael visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/michael-pritchard9.