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Runner Hugh limbering up for marathon's record-breaking bid

A CHRISTCHURCH man is putting on his running shoes to take part in a record-breaking bid for the world’s biggest ever marathon.

Hugh Rayner is taking on the Virgin Money London Marathon to raise funds for local families charity Home-Start South East Dorset.

The event on Sunday 3rd October will be the first time the experienced runner has competed in the London Marathon.

Hugh Rayner is running for Home-Start South East Dorset (45964042)
Hugh Rayner is running for Home-Start South East Dorset (45964042)

He will be among the 50,000 setting out to complete the 26.2-mile route in the capital, alongside another 50,000 participating virtually at the same time all around the world.

All 100,000 runners will be part of an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the biggest marathon ever staged.

Hugh has previously raised money for several local causes, and said: “My wife and I have a young family and are privileged to have a safe and stable environment to bring our children up in.

“But I know other families aren’t as lucky. We might live in a beautiful part of the country, but for many local families, life is really tough.

“I want to raise awareness of the widespread issues of insecurity, poverty and family welfare and support local charity Home-Start which works tirelessly to help these local families in need.”

Families living across Christchurch, Bournemouth and Poole are among those supported by Home-Start.

The charity’s community and corporate engagement manager, Caroline Pope, expressed its gratitude to Hugh, saying: “Last year we saw a huge rise in families asking for our help.

“The coronavirus pandemic placed even greater strain on families who were already isolated, facing hardship, abuse, disability and mental health challenges.

“We continued to support families remotely throughout lockdown, but our fundraising efforts were drastically hampered by the inability to hold physical fundraising events at scale.”

To donate to Home-Start or find out more, visit www.homestartsoutheastdorset.org.uk

The virtual marathon has sold out, but some places are still available through charities like Home-Start which can be contacted on 01202 574877.

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