THIS Sunday more than 40,000 inspired runners will hit the streets of London for a gruelling test of stamina and nerves.

Hordes of athletes will make the slow approach towards the start line of the London Marathon and, ahead of the big day, we caught up with those participating in the gruelling 26.2-miles.

After conquering the Berlin Marathon in 2015, Lyndsay Wood, 28, of Woodlands, Braintree, is now hoping to beat her previous personal best in what will be her first London Marathon.

The mother of one will be running for Action Medical Research – a charity dedicated to aiding babies born prematurely.

Lyndsay said: ‘‘I have had friends and family members experience the devaluing effects of premature birth and so I wanted to run for Action.’’


Braintree and Witham Times: Lyndsay WoodLyndsay Wood

This year five people will be taking part in the marathon for children’s charity PARC, which is based in Great Notley.

Jackie Kelly, Matt Carr, Esther Harrod, Tony Wood and Richard Sandford have been training tirelessly while fitting in fundraising.

Jackie is running for PARC because her nine-year-old son Luke attends afterschool sessions every week, while Matt’s son Dom also uses the charity. Last year the father of four, held two football tournaments which raised more than £1,000 and now he’s taking on the marathon.

Esther’s son used to attend PARC while Tony, father of two, says he is built for comfort, not speed. Completing the team is Richard who will be taking on his 49th marathon this weekend.

Braintree and Witham Times: The PARC teamThe PARC team

William Arnold, 39, of Aetheric Road, Braintree, is raising money for Farleigh Hospice, after it cared for his wife Katie who passed away from bowl cancer at the age of 29, in 2017.

Visit to donate.

Braintree and Witham Times: William ArnoldWilliam Arnold

Married Witham couple Lee and Jody Wilkey are hoping to raise funds for Farleigh. Jody, who is running for a second year in a row, and Lee, a London Marathon virgin, have already raised £4,300.

She said: ‘‘We have lost friends to cancer that spent their final days at Farleigh, and they are just an absolutely amazing charity.

‘‘The support they also show their runners goes above and beyond.’’

Braintree and Witham Times: Jody and LeeJody and Lee

Black Notley resident Ruth Parry, 39, is taking part for Dementia Revolution and is hoping she can hit her £3,000 target to mark her upcoming 40th birthday.

Sponsor Ruth at

Braintree and Witham Times: Ruth ParryRuth Parry

Richard Inkpin, 30, is also running for Dementia Revolution after his grandfather suffered from the disease for many years.

He said: “Dementia is an illness very close to my heart, it is a cruel disease and not enough is currently being done about finding a cure.


Braintree and Witham Times: Richard InkpinRichard Inkpin

Vic Bojan, grandfather of the late Jacob Jones, is hoping to raise £2,500 for Children With Cancer UK. He said: "Because of what my grandson went through, childhood cancer is a cause that is very close to my heart."


Braintree and Witham Times: Vic BojanVic Bojan

Kelly Calver, 42, of Constable Way, Black Notley, is running the marathon for Whizz-Kidz which supplies mobility equipment and support to youngsters.

Kelly is part of Michelle's Running Group . Visit

Braintree and Witham Times: Kelly CalverKelly Calver

Stuart Clark, is raising money for Friends of Edith Borthwick School. His son has been at the school for 13 years and wants to raise cash for the group to help purchase specialist equipment and fund day trips.


Braintree and Witham Times: Stuart ClarkStuart Clark

Jane Wilson, 57, of Black Notley, will also be taking part for charity and will be running with Braintree runner’s Michelle’s Running Group.

Braintree postwoman, Teresa Martin, will be running for mental health charity MIND, in memory of her sister who died last year.