Runners from Huntingdonshire will be joining thousands of others on Sunday (April 13) for this year’s London Marathon.
Among them will be Abi Halstead, a 23-year-old graphic designer from Hilton who, when aged just four, was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis.
Ever since, she has had a strict regime of medication and physiotherapy, including physio twice a day, a nebuliser twice a day and a daily dose of 37 tablets.
She said: “Running is helping to improve my lung capacity. After doing tests at hospital it has shown my lung function has improved, so that is a really good thing.
“I had hospital appointments once every eight weeks as I grew up. Having cystic fibrosis has pushed me on to live every moment life has to offer and make the most of every day.”
Cystic fibrosis is a life-shortening genetic condition which causes the internal organs, especially the lungs and digestive system, to become clogged up, resulting in chronic infections and inflammation of the lungs.
Abi is running for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, a charity in its 50th year which invests in research into the condition and supports people affected by it.
Meanwhile, also pounding the pavements will be David Gibbons, of Leas Close, St Ives. The 25-year-old plans to complete a leg-burning 28 runs in 2014, including two marathons, starting with London.
He is also intending to run in a 15-mile race, seven half marathons, 16 10ks and two 5ks, all in aid of Cancer Research UK. “I’ve done runs before but I wanted to do a real challenge to push my body to its limit,” he said.
Mr Gibbons, who works for a digital print company, said he chose Cancer Research UK because both his mother and aunt had both been diagnosed with the disease and survived. He hopes to raise £3,000.
Also lining up in London, for the second time, will be Hugh Williams, of Crown Walk, St Ives, who is running in aid Leonard Cheshire Disability, which runs a care home in Brampton.
Money he raises will go towards the charity’s Open Doors campaign, an appeal to raise funds to buy specialist computer equipment to help people with severe disabilities to remain independent and communicate effectively with loved ones.
Mr Williams, who is 40 and married with two children – Heath, six, and Ralph, three – said he came into contact with the charity through his health and safety and first aid training work with his company, First Aid Training Services. “What’s nice about Leonard Cheshire is it’s a local charity and all the money I raise will go to the Manor in Brampton,” he said.
“I want to break four hours. I did four hours and 41 seconds in 2010 and I blame the 41 seconds on stopping to talk to my children.”
INFORMATION: To support Abi, go to uk.virginmoneygiving.com/giving and put her name in “sponsor your friend”. Sponsor David at www. justgiving.com/davidgibbons2014. For Hugh, visit www.justgiving.com/HughWilliamsLondonMarathon2014.