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Running his first London Marathon in memory of his niece Mia

In the town of Wokingham, in the southeast of England, you will find a dedicated runner, James, pacing the streets as he trains for the London Marathon.  

It’s the first time this avid marathon runner will be taking on the capital’s famous 26.2-mile journey, having previously conquered various half-marathons and marathons, including Berlin, Paris, and Edinburgh.  

“I’ve tried for years to get into the London Marathon via the ballot but have never been successful!” said James. 

“After every marathon, I normally say I’ll never do it again, but then I end up booking another one! I’ve heard that London alongside New York are the best in the world for the atmosphere as well,” James said.  

For James, his motivation to complete the London Marathon runs deeper than personal athletic achievement. He is running in aid of Shooting Star Children’s Hospices, a charity that holds significance to him and his family.  

“I’m running in memory of my niece Mia, who tragically passed away only a few weeks after being born due to meningitis,” James explains.  

“Shooting Star Children’s Hospices provided fantastic support to my brother Nick and sister-in-law Amy before and after Mia’s death.  

“After also having the hospice tour recently as well, it’s reconfirmed in my mind how amazing this charity is and how they need as much financial support and awareness as possible.” 

On Sunday 21 April, James will be donning a Shooting Star running vest, alongside 60 other runners who will all be taking strides to raise money for the charity. 

“Since having a health kick after a bout of very serious pneumonia in 2009, I’ve been running ever since, and it’s been an essential part of my week (when I’m not injured!) for both physical and mental health benefits. 

“I’ve had the pleasure of meeting quite a few of the runners in the team both on the hospice tour and also in a recent online ’Train Your Mind’ event which was fantastic. A lot of the runners are also in a WhatsApp group so we share tips, motivation etc.  

“It will be a pleasure to be running alongside everyone on the day. Sending good luck to everyone and thanks for having me on the team!” 

You can support James’s marathon challenge by donating here, with all funds raised helping to make every moment count for families facing the unimaginable.

If  James has inspired you to be a part of Team Shooting Star at the London Marathon next year, visit our website for more information.