RUNNERS from across the area will tackle the Virgin London Marathon on Sunday to raise cash for charity.

Phil Rayner, from Warfield, is taking on the 26.2-mile race in memory of his mother Bette Rayner, who lost her six-year battle with cancer last August.

He is running to raise cash for Macmillan Cancer Support, which helped support his mum in the final stages of her life and has set himself a fundraising target of £1,000.

He has run the London Marathon twice before but admits he had forgotten how difficult the training was.

He said: “This time the wet winter has made it especially difficult. I’ve done over 600 miles of training in all weathers and at some crazy times of day, “I’ve had to work my way through injuries and illness, tiredness and painfully stiff legs, but I’m finally ready and I am determined to complete it again.

“I just need to collect my race number and get to the starting line!” Mr Rayner adds he is hoping to complete the race in about four and a half hours but said the amount raised for charity was more important than how long he took to complete the marathon.

He has currently raised more than £650. To sponsor him, visit Running group members from Bracknell and Sandhurst will also be on the starting line at tomorrow’s race.

About 30 members from Bracknell Forest Runners will take to the road, including the group’s chairman Alan Street, who is running for Marie Curie Cancer Care.

He said: “Between us we are looking to raise £30,000-£40,000 for our various different causes which is fantastic. I am hoping to cross the line in about three and a half hours.

“We have also got a squad of about 12 people helping out at the last water station in the race too.” To sponsor Mr Street, visit A group of 15 runners from Sandhurst Joggers will also be running the London Marathon, with one member, Vicky Horne, tackling it as part of a 52 marathons in 52 weeks challenge for mental health charity Sport in Mind.