Please click on the photo to enlarge it Rachel goes the distance in raising funds for Thames Hospicecare : Rachel Colloff (27) from North Ascot will be lacing up her trainers to take on the Virgin London Marathon in order to raise funds for Thames Hospicecare.

Rachel hopes her effort will be an example to other runners who are signed up to run the Virgin London Marathon but are not supporting a charity to be part of Team THc and run for the Hospice:

“I really wanted to support a local charity, which is why I chose Thames Hospicecare. A neighbour was cared for by the Hospice, and I think they do such a wonderful job. Two of my grandparents were in fact supported by a hospice in Swansea when they were sick, so I know how important local hospices are to those with cancer and their families,” said Rachel,  "So many national charities get a lot of support through the Marathon, but as I got my place through the ballot, I really wanted to use it to support a charity that would not have lots of runners taking part," explained Rachel.

As no stranger to running, Rachel has not only completed the Reading Half Marathon for the past three years, she will be taking on the event again just three weeks before the Virgin London Marathon. As if that wasn’t enough, Rachel plans to wear out more soles on her trainers by entering the Run Britain Grand Prix series this year.  In the last two years, Rachel has also run in the Windsor Half Marathon and the Henley Half Marathon.

Rachel, who works as a Global Employee Communications Specialist for Johnson Controls, said her family and friends have been incredibly supportive of her tough training schedule and her fundraising efforts.

“My friends and family are really proud of me, although some of them think I am a bit mad! They are all really supportive though and I am so grateful to everyone who has taken the time to sponsor me.

On the day the hardest part will be trying to keep my pace and not get carried away with the crowd when the race starts. Obviously the distance is also a challenge! When it is over, I am looking forward to eating a huge meal and having a glass of wine and I will feel very proud to have supported the Hospice,” she added.

Susan Blues, Event Fundraiser at Thames Hospicecare, thanked Rachel for her support and urged others to join her.

“The Virgin London Marathon is such a popular event and there are lots of people taking part who don’t have a charity place. I would urge those runners to come and join Rachel and Team THc. At the Hospice, we rely almost entirely on  donations to be able to provide the specialist nursing care and support our patients require. So please if you have a place think about using it to help the Hospice,” said Susan.

If you are running in the Virgin London Marathon or Windsor Half Marathon on 7th October and would like to run for the Hospice please contact Susan Blues, Events Fundraiser, on 01753 848946 or email susan.blues@thameshospicecare.org.uk . The Hospice also has running places for the British 10K in London on 8th July and the Windsor Ladies 8k on 6th October.

To sponsor Rachel, visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/RachelColloff