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Virtual marathon runners will be pounding the streets of Gloucestershire for WellChild

On October 4, dedicated runners will be pounding the streets of Gloucestershire to complete the 2020 Virtual London Marathon to raise money for WellChild's work for seriously ill children and their families.

Ashley Stevens running the London Marathon last year

Taking part in Gloucestershire for WellChild are Ashley Stevens, Paul Martin, Anthony Nellis and Sophie and Duncan Paul, all runners from Cheltenham and Gary Oakley from Gloucester. They all form part of a 150 strong team of WellChild runners taking part across the UK.

This year's London Marathon was cancelled because of the COVID-19 epidemic which is a huge blow to WellChild and the many other charities supported by marathon runners as it leaves a big hole in the funds they need to carry out their work.

So the virtual event is taking place this October when runners who had gained entry to this year's London Marathon will be running the 26.2 mile distance on their own home turf.

On the race day, WellChild will be hosting a small cheer point with refreshments for runners at the rear gate of the WellChild HQ at Royal Well Place in Cheltenham and are encouraging all virtual marathon runners in the area, including the WellChild runners, to add this to their route.

The amazing effort of the 150 WellChild runners will raise vital funds to replace some of the 60 per cent of funding that WellChild has lost due to the epidemic and help the charity carry on its work to support hundreds of complex needs children throughout the UK.

WellChild chief executive Colin Dyer is delighted so many runners have decided to support WellChild in the virtual marathon.

"It's great that so many athletes are prepared to run the Virtual London Marathon to help WellChild this year in which fundraising is a huge challenge for charities," he said.

"For many of the children, young people and families WellChild supports, just getting through the day is a huge challenge. The children have a marathon to run in trying to live the kind of normal life we all take for granted. On their behalf I thank all the runners for the hard work they have put in."

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