A DEDICATED supporter of a Basingstoke-based charity is set to run her 100th marathon for the cause - but she won't finish there.

On Sunday, in Richmond Park, Chrissy Gorham will be running her 100th marathon in aid of Heartburn Cancer UK (HCUK), just over a year to the day since her husband John died of cancer of the oesophagus.

Chrissy has been racing in memory of John and to raise money for HCUK which supported him through his illness.

The 61-year-old, who has run some 2,600 miles for the cause said: “I started running marathons when I met John over 10 years ago and we managed 55 before he died on May 8 last year aged just 63.

"Setting myself the target of reaching the 100 mark has given me purpose and an opportunity to raise awareness of what is Britain’s sixth biggest cancer killer, particularly of men.

When she finishes her 100th run Chrissy will have raised more than £5,000 for HCUK and since John died last year she will have completed 45 marathons in 12 months, sometimes running three a week.

The events she chooses have at least 25 people taking part and publish their results so they will all be recognised by the 100 Marathon Club.

Chrissy, from Botley, will receive a blue and yellow running top from the club when she completes her 100th in Richmond.

Once the 100 are completed Chrissy will not be stopping, just going up a gear.

She added: “I’m going to run 100 ultra marathons next – that’s anything longer than the traditional marathon length of 26 miles 385 yards or 42.195km.”

HCUK has been supporting sufferers of oesophageal cancer since 2003 when it was founded by Mimi McCord after the death of her husband Michael from the disease at the age of 47.

Mimi said: “We are determined to raise awareness of the cancer among the public but also among GPs,

“It is too easy to dismiss the symptoms as heartburn and self-medicate to manage them with off the shelf treatments.

"People are largely unaware of the disease and yet we have the highest incidence in the world.”

Cancer of the oesophagus affects the pipe that runs from the gullet to the stomach. Symptoms include persistent heartburn, cough and difficulty swallowing. Men are four times as likely to contract it is as women.