RUNNERS from across Wiltshire will put their best foot forward this weekend as they take part in the London Marathon.
For Corsham’s Lewis Baxter, running the event has always been on his bucket and he’s looking forward to ticking it off in style as more than £6,000 has been donated to his cause.
The director of financial planning firm Unividual will run the 26-mile route on Sunday, April 23 for Worldwide Cancer Research after supporting his grandmother Valerie Fenn through her breast cancer battle twice in the past.
“Last year I trained to do the Bath Half Marathon and managed to raise over £5,000 with three other members of staff from Unividual,” the 29-year-old said. “Just days after I finished I decided to raise more money for a cancer charity and the London Marathon has always been on my bucket list.
“I spend a lot of time helping my clients achieve their lifetime goals and objectives. The sad part of life is that events like getting a long-term sickness affect when and how you reach those goals. I have worked with several families who have had to deal with cancer and have witnessed the financial and emotional strife this has caused.
My own Nanny Fenn has battled breast cancer twice and the effect that cancer has on people’s lives hit home then particularly. I saw how it impacted not just on her but Grandad who supported her every step of the way.”
Mr Baxter, who runs his business alongside his father John and sister Cherie-Anne, decided to support Worldwide Cancer Research due to their philosophies and the fact they treat cancer at the source.
He added: “I will never forget how quickly Worldwide Cancer Research got back to me. They were extremely keen for me to run for them and I instantly felt my efforts would make a difference.”
After running a social media campaign, calling clients and sending out two sets of letters, the family team drummed up over sixty donations and they have now raised a total of £6,290 with gift aid.
Speaking of the challenge Miss Baxter said: “Huge thanks to everyone who helped us get this far. It is now down to Lewis to get round the track but with all the training and healthy eating I know he will do it. We will be down there on the day cheering him every step of the way.”
A mother and daughter pairing from the Chippenham Harriers will also be taking part in the event to raise money for charity BackCare.
Dena Bray, who is running the event with her daughter, Issie, said: “As we ran our first 5k, 10k and half marathon together, we decided we wanted to run and experience the London Marathon together as the memories will last a lifetime.
“We feel excited and honoured to have the opportunity to run together at one of the worlds most well-respected races.
“On top of this, we are extremely proud and thankful to have raised over £2500 for BackCare through quiz nights, cake sales and raffles which the Chippenham Harriers have heavily supported.”
To support Lewis Baxter's challenge visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Unividual or to support Dena Bray and her daughter, visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/team/26.2