Slideshow: Runners ready for London Marathon

With just three weeks to go until the Virgin London Marathon, a number of local runners are putting in their final preparations.

Thousands of people will take on the 26-mile course to raise money for causes close to their hearts.

Sophie Davies, of Stamford, is running the London Marathon for Heart UK EMN-140318-143834001

Sophie Davies, of Stamford, is running the London Marathon for Heart UK EMN-140318-143834001

Amy Williamson, of Drift Avenue, Stamford, will run for Action Medical Research to support ill children and babies.

The 33-year-old is a regular runner with the Stamford Striders but has only taken part in half marathons before.

She said: “My training is going well and I’ve had lots of support and advice from other club members. I hope to finish the run in under four hours which I think is achievable.”

Amy, who works as a content manager for Amtech, hopes to raise £3,000. To sponsor her visit

University student Ryan Doyle, of Wingate Way, Bourne, is running in memory of his grandma who died after a five-year battle with Alzheimer’s in 2010.

The 21-year-old, who is studying business and finance at the University of Lincoln, has undergone seven knee operations in recent years after suffering a rugby injury so he will be happy to finish in under five hours.

Ryan said: “My grandma had Alzheimer’s for five years and you become a shell of your old self. The Alzheimer’s Society offers a lot of support and I’m desperate to raise money for a cause that I believe is so important.”

To sponsor Ryan visit

Student Sophie Davies, of Main Street, Belmesthorpe, is taking on her first marathon for Heart UK.

The 21-year-old, who is studying philosophy at Manchester University, came across the charity while working for a PR agency last summer.

She said: “Working with Heart UK truly opened my eyes to the real implications high cholesterol can have on someone’s life. It is something people are not always fully aware of so I am striving to raise as much as possible for such an incredible charity.”

Sophie hopes to finish the run in four-and-a-half hours.

She said: “Training is a big commitment that can be very time consuming but as the training gets tougher, the sense of achievement definitely grows.

“I feel very lucky to have the chance to run the London Marathon and am very much looking forward to the challenge.”

To sponsor Sophie visit

Nursery nurse Melissa Mason will also tackle the course for the first time.

The 27-year-old, of St Leonard’s Street, Stamford, is raising money for the Micro and Anophthalmic Children’s Society which supports children born with underdeveloped eyes.

She said: “I’ve wanted to run the marathon since I was a little girl and this year I finally decided to go for it.

“I’m lucky that nothing bad has ever touched my life in terms of illnesses so I’ve chosen to support quite a small children’s charity.”

Melissa hopes to complete the run in under five hours and raise £1,200.

She added: “It has been hard getting up at 5.30am to fit in the training before work but my partner Robin has been really supportive.”

To sponsor Melissa visit

She is also hosting a cake sale outside her workplace, The Children’s Garden in Broad Street, Stamford, next Friday to raise more money.

Jane Hales, of Burley Road, Langham, will compete in London for the first time having previously run marathons in Istanbul and Rutland.

Her son Tim, 23, will run his first marathon while George, 20, will take part for the second time.

The family are raising money for Headway after Jane’s eldest son Simon suffered a brain injury in a serious fall.

Jane, an events manager at Barnsdale Lodge, said: “It’s Tim’s first marathon but he has done the most training out of all of us.

“He hopes to finish in four hours, I’m aiming for four-and-a-half hours and George hopes to finish in under five hours.”

To sponsor the family visit

Father-and-son team Karl and Charlie Hick will run the marathon for the Willow Foundation, which provides special days for 16 to 40-year-olds with life-threatening illnesses.

Karl, who is the chief executive of the Larkfleet Group in Bourne, and Charlie aim to finish in three-and-a-half hours.

Karl, 54, said: “We are running to support the fantastic work the charity does which makes a difference to so many lives.

“Every single penny 
Charlie and I raise will contribute to special days out for seriously ill young adults throughout the UK.”

To sponsor them visit or

Claire Jaggard, of First Drift, Wothorpe will be raising money for the Papworth Trust which supports people with disabilities.

Claire, a nail technician at Stamford Beauty, hopes to finish her first marathon in four hours and raise £1,600.

She said: “It has always been an ambition of mine to run the London Marathon - something to tick off the list. I’ve been training lots to make sure I’m fit enough.”

She was inspired to run for the Papworth Trust after seeing the impact its youth group has on a family friend from Peterborough, Luke Jeffries, who has Downs Syndrome.

Her husband Antony was also due to take part but has been forced to defer his place because of an injury.

To sponsor Claire visit