THE London Marathon is taking place this weekend, and hundreds of hopeful runners will be undertaking the 26.2 mile journey through the capital.

Basingstoke is being well-represented, with just a few of the residents in and around the area taking part being listed below. You can read their stories below and donate to their causes if you want to:


AFTER her mother was twice diagnosed with a rare form of cancer a Tadley runner is looking to raise awareness and help find a treatment.

Leanne Spencer’s mother Mary has twice been diagnosed with the Sarcoma cancer – a type of cancer which develops in the soft tissue.

Mary was first diagnosed with soft tissue Sarcoma in her thigh in December 2007.

Following the diagnosis she underwent surgery to remove the tumour and subsequently also lost three of her quad muscles. The surgery was followed by an intensive six weeks of daily radiotherapy.

Then almost seven years to the day she was told that the Sarcoma had returned, this time to just below her hip. She again had surgery to remove the cancer and surrounding tissue.

Now to help raise awareness of the rare cancer 26-year-old Leanne will take on the London Marathon on Sunday to support Sarcoma UK.

She said: “Sarcoma is often misdiagnosed, as it was in my mum’s case. Doing this marathon is all about raising awareness and I want to raise as much money as possible because every little helps.”

Leanne is no stranger to distance running, having completed a few half-marathons – including Reading half-marathon.

However, she told The Gazette doing the London Marathon is a different challenge altogether. “It is a little bit daunting going into this marathon,” added the Tadley resident.

“I have been running every single day in preparation and then going on long runs on Sundays.

“I have set myself the target of completing the run in fourand-a-half hours.”

All the money which Leanne raises will go to Sarcoma UK in helping the charity work with patients, carers, supporters, health professionals and researchers to drive awareness, promote early diagnosis and improve patient experience.

To support Leanne visit: Leanne-Spencer5.


A BASINGSTOKE man will be running the London Marathon in aid of Parents And Children Together (PACT.)

First-time marathon runner Adam Angell, 41, from Basingstoke, adopted his son through the charity, and will now be running the daunting 26.2-mile challenge on April 23.

Each runner is aiming to raise £1,500 for the charity, which supports families across the South East through adoption, awardwinning therapeutic support and community projects.

The engineer and self-employed network marketing professional said: “PACT has been so supportive and professional and we have always been glad that they were there assisting us through the long process of adopting a child.

“Since we now have our boy who is doing very well I would like to raise awareness and funding so that more families can have the same support we have had and hopefully give many more children a forever family.”

PACT chief executive Jan Fishwick said: “We are really grateful to Adam and all our Team PACT marathon runners who are giving up their time to train for the race and raise funds for our work. Please do sponsor them if you can.”

Adam, an engineer and self-employed network marketing professional, who has joined a running club since training for the marathon, said: “Being a committed father with two jobs, it is always a challenge to make time for training for a challenge like this. But I am prepared and determined to succeed.”

You can sponsor Adam at http://uk.virginmoneygiving. com/AdamAngell.


A WOMAN from Basingstoke will be running the London Marathon to raise funds and awareness for Diabetes UK.

Emma Merritt is running the marathon to raise awareness after watching her four-year-old nephew, Alfie, cope with Type 1 diabetes.

Emma, a mother-of-two, has been training hard, having caught the running bug and going from no running experience at all to completing the Basingstoke Half Marathon in two hours and three minutes in October.

She said: “Alfie has insulin administered for all of his meals. To begin with, this was done via four injections a day.

“But since this month Alfie has had an insulin pump, which he is connected to 24 hours a day that continuously administers his insulin. It’s been hard to watch him go through this and that’s why I wanted to do my bit to help by running the marathon.”

To donate to help Emma visit the link here.


A BASINGSTOKE woman will be running the London Marathon in aid of a prominent eye charity.

Gabriella Waller, pictured, from Basingstoke, has done half-marathons and other events before, but is now undertaking the 26.2-mile challenge in aid of MACS, a charity that helps and supports children and their families who are born with eye conditions that limit their ability to see.

Gabriella said: “Running a marathon for charity has been bucket list material for me. Training for the Reading Half Marathon was the hardest thing I have ever done, not so much physically, but it was tough mentally.

“I’ve been training since November and when I completed the Reading Half Marathon I was so relieved that I could do it. I’d never run that distance before, but I knew that with hard work and dedication I could do it.”

If you would like to support Gabriella, then you can donate here.