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West Berkshire runners gearing up for London Marathon

Local people to take on 26.2 mile course

West Berkshire runners gearing up for London Marathon

PEOPLE across West Berkshire are stocking up on their carbohydrates and taking on fluids in preparation for Sunday’s London Marathon.

Preparing for the 26.2-mile slog around the capital is Newbury man Ed Straiton, who is running the event for the first time.

He is running for Diabetes UK, which is a cause close to his heart.

“I have had type one since I was eight – I am now 25 and a pump user,” he said.

“I am passionate about showing people what can be done and that diabetes is not a limitation in life, too many people think it is.

“I want to run it in under three hours 30, and am aiming for under three hours.”

Mr Straiton has prepared some marathon training tips for people with diabetes, which can be viewed at Guide-to-diabetes/Enjoy-food/ Food-and-diabetes/I-have-Type-1-diabetes/Eds-Story/

People can donate at

Another Newbury man pounding the streets is Matthew Knight, who will be running dressed as In the Night Garden character Upsy Daisy for the Colourful Caterpillar pre-school in Thatcham.

The 36-year-old has run the Reading Half Marathon as Hello Kitty and has been training in costume for Sunday’s Marathon.

He said: “Nobody expects you to break records dressed as Upsy Daisy do they?”

He has set a £500 target and the money will be used to fund educational visits, waterproofs, music for activities and outdoor toys for the Colourful Caterpillar’s playground.

To make a donation, visit matthewknight1

Thatcham friends Vikke Tabraham and Felicity Pointer have taken on a marathon challenge of their own.

The pair completed the Brighton Marathon at the weekend and will take on London just seven days later.

Mrs Pointer has raised £2,225 so far for Children with Cancer UK, exceeding her £2,000 target, while Mrs Tabraham has raised £1,630 for Kids Kidney Research, beating her target of £1,500.

Mrs Tabraham said: “We have been training five times a week since October, some weeks running 50 to 80 miles.

“We both work night shifts so nearly all of our training runs have been after a tiring shift.

“This has been a tough challenge both physically and mentally, but is so worthwhile knowing we have raised so much money for two fantastic charities.”

To donate, visit or VictoriaTabraham


Also running for Children with Cancer UK is Newbury woman Sarah Spencer, who works for Ridgeway Audi.

Having run the Reading Half-Marathon earlier this month, Newbury man Stuart Huntley is adding another 13.1 miles and taking on London.

Mr Huntley is fundraising for Canine Partners and donations can be made at StuartHuntley 

Stuart Duncan from Upper Basildon will be running for Parents and Children Together (PACT), an independent adoption agency that also runs community projects supporting families affected by domestic abuse.

To sponsor Stuart visit fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?user Url=StuartDuncan

Running her first marathon for Newbury charity Swings and Smiles is Highclere resident Rebecca Bowen.

The 23-year-old said: “The London Marathon is something that I have wanted to tick off my bucket list for many years and I am delighted to finally have the opportunity to do so for a charity that I really, truly believe makes a lasting difference.

“So please help me raise as much as I can so that they can continue to provide life-changing support.”

Miss Bowen has raised £1,260 of her £1,500 target and donations can be made at

Mel Porter will run the London Marathon this weekend to raise much-needed funds for Time to Talk West Berkshire.

The charity is one that Mel knows very well, as she is a volunteer counsellor who provides a series of one-to-one sessions for vulnerable children and young people, helping them through their challenges in life.

Ms Porter, from Newbury, said: “I am one of 25 trained counsellors who volunteer for Time to Talk, a registered charity, offering confidential counselling to young people in need aged from 11 to 25 in West Berkshire.

“This year sees the 30th anniversary of the charity and you can find out more by visiting the webpage

“The charity relies entirely on grants and donations to keep the service running.

“They are dealing with a growing demand for their service with more than 2,700 counselling sessions last year – more than double the number offered in 2013.

“The money donated will have a direct impact on continuing to provide this much-needed service for young people living across West Berkshire.”

So far Ms Porter has raised more than £10,00 towards her £2,000 target.

To make a donation visit Mel.TimetoTalk

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