As he stands on the starting line on Sunday, October 3, Matt Otty, 35, will be thinking of his close friend Sarah Bilinis, who received end-of-life care from the hospice two years ago.
He said: “The London marathon is just an iconic race. It’s something I had wanted to do since I was a kid, so when I got the opportunity to represent Ashgate at the marathon in 2019, it was a dream come true. It makes me emotional thinking about it, it was the best day of my life."
He added: “I wanted to support Ashgate because of the amazing care Sarah had received from the community team; she was very ill at the time and sadly passed away two days after the marathon.
“Sarah might no longer be with us but she’s still always on my mind and I wanted to keep supporting Ashgate in her memory.”
Having seen first hand the work the hospice do, Matt knew he wanted to continue supporting them.
He added: “The hospice did so much for her – it was the small things; they kept their promises and went above and beyond the level of care expected. That’s why I’ll be immensely proud to represent the hospice this year.”
In 2019, Matt, helped raise almost £4,000 for Ashgate, and he hopes to raise a significant amount this time around too.
A keen athlete for most of his life, he organised a sell-out pub quiz with 80 guests in September and plans to take part in other fundraisers as well as the marathon.
“In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together.” – Louise Cooper, editor.