Keen athletes whose London Marathon hopes may have been dashed this week still have an opportunity to take part in the famous race – by running on behalf of Weston Hospicecare.

The event is one of the best-known marathons in the world, and always faces far more applications for places than organisers could ever hope to accommodate.

That means would-be runners are entered into a ballot for race places, and every year thousands face disappointment when the successful names are revealed.

This year was no different when ballot results were announced on Monday – but there remains another route to the starting line for those who were unsuccessful.

Charities around the country hold Gold Bond places which enable runners to take part in return for meeting a minimum sponsorship pledge for their cause.

Weston Hospicecare holds five of these places, and is now inviting applications from local runners who are keen to support the hospice by taking part.

The hospice’s challenge manager Simon Angear said: “We know how tough it can be to secure a London Marathon slot, and how much of a disappointment it can be for runners to miss out on a ballot place.

“But all is not lost. We’re now inviting applications from people who are still keen to take part, and who would relish the opportunity to support Weston Hospicecare at the same time.

“Feedback from our runners in past years tells us that the London Marathon is a fabulous experience, and the sense of achievement felt at the finish line is second to none.

“Plus, every pace is a step towards helping Weston Hospicecare to care for people with life-limiting illnesses and their families – and every penny counts for us.”

Runners who are awarded the hospice’s Gold Bond places are encouraged to raise a minimum of £2,000 in sponsorship, but are supported through the fundraising process by the hospice team.

Anyone who would like to apply for one of the hospice’s London Marathon places can download an application form by logging on to westonhospicecare.org.uk, or alternatively you can request a copy by emailing simon.angear@westonhospicecare.org.uk or calling 01934 423947.

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