Marathon runners urged to go for gold with Willen Hospice in Milton Keynes

Fiona Fletcher had a personal reason for running: "The staff knew exactly how to help us all in such a difficult time"
Fiona Fletcher had a personal reason for running: "The staff knew exactly how to help us all in such a difficult time"

It may only be just over a week since the London Marathon but Willen Hospice is urging local people bitten by the running bug to apply for a place to run for the charity next year.

The public ballot for the 2019 London Marathon opened yesterday..

Willen Hospice also has 10 ‘Gold Bond’ guaranteed places up for grabs. As well as a highly sought after place in the London Marathon, successful applicants will be given plenty of support with their fundraising and training, a running vest, the chance to attend regular meet ups and encouragement on the day from cheer points on the course.

This year’s Willen Hospice London Marathon runners raised more than £30,000 between them, including some exceptional individual amounts.

Fiona Fletcher raised more than £3,500 for the charity.

:“Willen Hospice is a very important place to me and my loved ones," she said.

"When I was only 13 years old my mother went to Willen Hospice after an incredible tough battle with lung cancer. Though her time there was short, we all saw first-hand the incredible care they gave her. Sadly once my mother had passed, they were there the whole time and gave us the care we really needed as well.

“Nine years later, and my fiancé’s mother went into Willen Hospice also after a long fight with cancer. Just like before, the staff knew exactly how to help us all in such a difficult time.

“I wanted to run the London Marathon with the aim of raising £2,000 minimum so they can continue helping families like mine. I’m so pleased to have smashed that target. It was so tough running in the heat that day but I am so pleased to have done it, and to have raised money to help a wonderful cause. Thank you to everyone who supported me.”

Willen Hospice challenges fundraiser, Chris Gregg, said: “The London Marathon is an epic challenge and we are so grateful to everyone who takes it on to raise money for us. Our runners have raised an amazing amount, achieved some personal goals, and had an unforgettable experience. They’ve all been incredible.”

If you would like to apply for a London Marathon 2019 Gold Bond place with the Hospice visit www.willen-hospice.org.uk/challenges, email challenges@willen-hospice.org.uk or call 01908 303056.

Applications close in September 2018. The Hospice also welcomes runners who secure a ballot place and offers the same package of support if they run for the charity.