COLLEAGUES from an East Staffordshire housing association have been cramming in last minute fitness sessions ahead of the London Marathon.
Pat Thacker and Lee Cope, who both work for Trent and Dove Housing, are hoping to go the distance in the 26.2 mile race on Sunday, April 21.
Pat, 47, of Lullington Road, Overseal, who is a member of the Washlands Womens Runners club, said she will raise money for St Giles Hospice.
She said: “My mother was in the hospice 25 years ago and I remember how well they treated her.
“They do such wonderful work for people who are experiencing very difficult times.
“They were certainly wonderful to our family when they nursed my lovely mother back in 1988.”
Pat said it was the first time she had competed in a marathon but she is looking forward to the challenge.
She said: “The furthest I have done is a 10km race but this is the first marathon.
“I’m looking forward to getting there and soaking up the atmosphere. I’m confident it will be a really good day.”
Pat said she only had her place in the marathon confirmed in February and has had to follow a strict training regime to get in shape ahead of the big day.
She said: “The training has not been too bad. It has been very intensive and I have followed the schedule which is designed to build up my stamina.
“It has been difficult with the rain, wind and snow but it will have been the same for everyone and it has definitely hardened me up. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
Pat added that the bombing attack at the Boston Marathon has stiffened her resolve to compete on Sunday.
She said: “The atrocity at the Boston Marathon on Monday has simply made me more determined to compete. You can’t live your life in fear.”
Lee, 35, from Stapenhill, will raise money for Asthma UK because his eight-year-old daughter, Emily, suffers from the illness.
He said: “I have done a half marathon before now. I think I’m as prepared as I can be because I’ve managed the recommend 20 miles in my training sessions and am confident I’ve got the stamina to dig deep and find the energy for the extra 6 miles.”
To donate to Pat’s and Lee’s fund visit www.justgiving.com/patriciathacker or www.justgiving.com/lee-cope