Six lucky runners have the chance to take part in this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon and help Beaumond House Hospice Care too.
The charity has been given one place in the 2021 London event and five places in the Virtual race, both will be held on October 3.
Ashleigh Haggar of Fernwood completed the London Marathon in 2016 and raised more than £2,000 for Beaumond House.
He said he had tried unsuccessfully a couple of times to get a place in the marathon and when he heard Beaumond House had one he decided to apply.
“It seemed to make sense to run in the marathon and raise money for Beaumond House as well,” he said.
He spent five months training and although it was hard at times he was determined to ensure he was well prepared.
Colleagues at Ambitions Personnel, where he is a senior accounts manager, sponsored him along with family, friends and people who heard what he was doing through a Facebook post.
“Once I put it out that I was doing the London Marathon and that I was running for Beaumond House I had a great response,” he said. “It was amazing how generous people were and how many people wanted to help.”
On the day he said the hardest part for him was seeing a sign saying they had completed 20 miles and that there was only another 10k to go.
“I think that was meant to inspire you but at that stage 10k was still a long way,” he said.
“But I knew I was running for all those people who had supported me and that helped keep me going.”
He said the last two or three miles were the most enjoyable – knowing that the end was in sight and that it was achievable.
“It was a great experience with thousands of people clapping and cheering you on,” he said.
“And there was a feeling of real achievement when I crossed the finishing line.”
Individual fundraising manager Kat Wright said she was thrilled the hospice have successfully acquired places.
The hospice has set a fundraising target of £3000 for the London event and £300 for the Virtual race.
‘With limited places we would love people to run for Beaumond House who ideally have a special connection to the charity and can raise as much money as possible,” she said.
“Our income has been hit badly during the pandemic so this is an opportunity for us to raise some much needed funds.”
The hospice is offering a Marathon Package with a personalised runner’s top, fundraising support, a training survival kit, and a sports massage kindly donated by Ian Jenkinson from Back To Life Clinic.
Applicants must be over 18 and can apply through the London Marathon here.
The closing date is March 19.