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Team Hospice UK limbers up for London Marathon this Sunday

Author: Leila Hawkins
20 April 2017

The world’s most famous marathon is back this Sunday, with 170 people running for Hospice UK.

More than 50,000 people are taking part in this year’s race, from first-time runners to seasoned pros, fitness enthusiasts, eager fundraisers, and household names like presenters Chris Evans and Jenni Falconer, Daily Mail columnist Katie Hopkins, and Eastenders’ Adam Woodyatt, aka Ian Beale.

Over the course of 26.2 miles they will run from south London’s Blackheath to the forever-developing Docklands area with its landmark Canary Wharf, past the London Eye and the South Bank, through to Westminster with the grand Houses of Parliament, until finishing at The Mall, metres away from Buckingham Palace.

Among the Hospice UK runners is Amy Devine, who is taking part to commemorate the one year anniversary of her father passing away at St. Christopher’s Hospice in south London. In an interview with Hospice UK, she said:

"His emotional state was just so much happier after being moved to the hospice. I had this image of it being this dark, dingy place, but it was this lively place where everyone was happy and smiling. Everything was about making the people there the happiest they can be in their final days."

For Jessica Roper, this will be her second marathon. She is participating in memory of her mother, and because of all the little details the hospice staff took care of for her. Jessica says:

“What was really important to my mum was that just before she went to the hospital she wanted to have a haircut, and she hadn't managed to. When she finally got into the hospice they offered her that haircut, and she was really happy to get her hair and nails done without having to go anywhere.”

Aside from Hospice UK’s supporters, there are many other participants running for individual hospices that are close to their heart. Andrew Speed from Elsenham in Essex, saw both his parents pass away at St Clare Hospice within two months of each other.  This will be his very first marathon, and he’s running in their memory and to raise money for the hospice. He says:

“St Clare is a charity that is very close to mine, and my family’s, heart. It is such an iconic race and I just can’t wait to get out there on the 23rd April. Thanks to St Clare, my parents were able to live the last few days of their life in a peaceful and painless environment, and I couldn’t feel more proud to put on that St Clare running vest and run those 26.2 miles in honour of my mum and dad.”

Meanwhile Gareth Rowett, from St Austell in Cornwall, has already done eleven half marathons but will mark his 30th birthday by running the London Marathon to raise funds for Cornwall Hospice Care, commemorating the first anniversary of the death of his Aunt Susan.

In the run-up to the event London’s ExCel centre is hosting the London Marathon Expo till April 22. Hospice UK have a stand here for visitors to find out more about cheer points, the post-race celebration, and ask any other questions they might have. Expo events include seminars, food, shopping and even massages.

Watch more videos of why marathon runners are supporting Hospice UK on Hospice UK’s YouTube channel.

For more information visit Virgin Money London Marathon

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