A WOMAN will run the London Marathon in aid of Woking & Sam Beare Hospices to thank them for the support it gave when her father died.

Elaine Grant, who lives in Kingfield, said the hospice gave her and the rest of the family great support from the moment her father David received a diagnosis of terminal throat cancer.

He died seven weeks later, on the day he was due to move into the hospice building in Goldsworth Park.

“I didn’t know what to do as I had never been in that situation before,” Elaine said.

“I called the hospice to say that we didn’t need the bed anymore and they talked me through all the steps I had to take, such as who I needed to call.

“The hospice was so supportive for the whole seven weeks. They helped every step of the way and answered all our questions.”

Elaine has so far raised more than £900 for the hospice in a JustGiving page she has called London Marathon: The Rematch, after taking part last year.

Elaine's training has included a gruelling Tough Mudder. (Picture supplied)

She said she had been an occasional runner who liked the idea of doing the London Marathon and casually applied for the ballot every year.

“I was secretly relieved every time I was rejected as I did not consider myself a ‘real runner’, but in March 2022 I got the ‘you’re in’ email . . . Oops!

“I did not use the opportunity to fundraise as I was so unsure of my ability and anxious.

I did not believe I could get my feet to the start line, let alone the 26.2 miles.

“But I did it . . . slowly and carefully and with some tears along the way. Self belief and confidence grew with each step and I fell into the famous foil blanket after 6 hours, 48 minutes and 18 seconds.

“With all the emotions that followed came the formulation of an idea: a rematch with this iconic event.

“I knew I had to try again, stronger, more confident and, most importantly, for a good cause.”

Elaine has ramped up her training and has completed more than 60 ParkRuns at Woking Park.

She has also run a few half marathons and will attempt the whole Surrey Half Marathon in March for the first time, having previously restricted herself to the 5km event.

Elaine with her dad, David. (Picture supplied)

Elaine, who is a business support officer with Surrey County Council, grew up in Maybury with her dad, mum Georgina and brothers Steve and Mike and has always lived in the Woking area.

Her motivation for running the London Marathon again is focused on the hospice and the help they gave her dad.

David was in the army and later worked on the railways and as a press operator at the James Walker factory in Maybury.

“This is a chance to fix my mistakes from last year and finish with a smile, knowing I helped such a fantastic cause.

“I’m running to keep improving my own mental health, for the hospice and its service users, and to make my Dad proud.

“The hospice was so compassionate and I’ve never forgotten that,” she said.

TO donate, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/laney17.