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What better way to make your long-distance running debut than participating in the London Marathon?

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Linda Venton, 50, of Fitzilian Avenue, Harold Wood, will take part in the 26 mile race in memory of her friend Tracy Hak, 45, who died in June of a rare form of cancer - leaving behind a husband and three teenage sons.

Linda is raising money for Saint Francis Hospice, the charity that cared for Tracy in her final months.

“The hospice was absolutely wonderful with Tracy towards the end,” said mother-of-two Linda,

“She had homecare. Until you have involvement with the hospice I don’t think you can know how amazing they are.”

Linda admits she is nervous about the race, but also “very excited.”

She said: “I joined Harold Wood running club and they have got me going!”

Despite confessing to a “lay off” over the festive period, Linda is now back on track and will run the Brentwood half-marathon in March in preparation.

She added: “I want to raise in excess of £2,000, at the moment I’ve done £1,200.

“I’m also running a raffle in the King Harold in Station Road and am looking for prize donations.”

To donate, visit justgiving.com/Linda-Venton1, or call Linda on 07837428172 if you would like to donate raffle prizes.

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