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Melksham runners prepare for London marathon

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MELKSHAM runners are set to take to the streets of London to take on the gruelling 26.2 mile marathon course – raising thousands for charity in the process. 

Back in April 2012 local student Sarah Clifton was a front page item for the Melksham News when she received the highest award for St John Ambulance cadets from HRH The Princess Royal at Buckingham Palace.

Only a few weeks later she was back outside Buckingham Palace on duty with St John Ambulance for the London Marathon, which proved to be an inspiration. Two years later, on 13th April she will be one of the many thousands taking part in this gruelling but hugely rewarding event,  running on behalf of the St John Ambulance.

She has to raise over £1600 for the charity and, as a gifted amateur baker, she has been busy baking for family, friends and many others to raise the money. To this end she has received much support from, among others, Lowbourne Osteopaths, St Augustine’s Catholic College, Gompels, Melksham Choral Society, Waitrose and the Cobblers Bench. Only recently she made over £200 at a cake sale event at her church, St Anthony’s.

If you wish to show your support for Sarah, her webpage for donation is: www.justgiving.com/sarah-clifton4

Also taking to the streets of London is Sonia Earle who is taking part in her second London Marathon having completed the course 20 years ago. She said, “I’m feeling very excited about the race but also equally nervous.  I’ve been applying through the ballot and due to being unsuccessful for five consecutive years I received my guaranteed place for this year.

“I’ve always run on and off since I was at school and after a couple of operations in 2012 to remove the skin cancer I joined Chippenham Harriers Beginners Group in May last year to get me running again.  I trained for the Bournemouth Half Marathon last October and in January this year took part in Hell Runner which is a 10-12 mile off road run in Hampshire. The training has gone well despite a few setbacks from minor injuries. I feel lucky that despite the weather being a bit wet I’ve not had to train in snow and ice!

“I’ve only run one marathon. London back in 1994 when I ran with two of my sisters.    My target time was about 4 hours 45 minutes however with a few niggles due to the injuries I’m just going to run it and enjoy the atmosphere which is absolutely amazing and if I can get a sub five hours I’ll be extremely happy.

• Are you running the London Marathon or know anyone in Melksham who is? get in touch and tell us your story by on 704761 or emailing news@melkshamnews.co.uk