Jo, one of our amazing supporters, ran the Brighton Marathon for us last year and here she tells us why she's running it again this year. Read her story and be inspired to join Jo on the St Wilfrid's team this April!

'I decided to run the Brighton Marathon last year to help raise money for St. Wilfrid’s Hospice after they cared for my Mum back in 2015. I had no experience of the hospice before Mum was ill, and I just couldn’t believe how amazing the hospice was in so many different ways; not only giving my Mum the best possible care in her last weeks, but also in the care that was extended to myself and my family.

'I felt that running a marathon was a great challenge to take on to raise money for the hospice, and although I was asked to raise £500 as a minimum,  I ended up exceeding this target and reaching over £1500, which I was so pleased about!

'The training wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be, I actually enjoyed it. It was fun to see how much more I could push myself with each run I did. I also used the Eastbourne Half Marathon in early March to help with my training, and it really did help. Just being at a mass-participation event with lots of others who were challenging themselves and many raising money for good causes too, gave me an extra burst of excitement for running the Brighton Marathon in six weeks time. It also took me over the half way mark in distance and allowed me to push on with training runs of 13 miles+ after completing the half and knowing I was more than capable of going beyond this.

'I loved the atmosphere of Brighton, the crowd support was unbelievable and the coastal route was just so beautiful. It was so nice to see my friends and family at different points around the course, as well as the St Wilfrid’s Hospice cheering volunteers, although you are so in the zone when running that friends have to scream your name to get your attention.

'I’m not saying the run was easy, and there were some parts where you really needed the crowd support just to see you through a tough mile, but what really motivated me all the way through was knowing I was doing it to help the hospice care for more people like Mum.

'The euphoric feeling of completing the marathon stuck with me for so long afterwards; in fact it never really went away, which is why I’ve decided to run it again this year! I will wear my St Wilfrid’s running vest with such pride and I’m even going to try and exceed my fundraising total from last year and raise even more money for the hospice. I can’t wait to find out who else is running in the St Wilf’s team and try and meet up for some training runs beforehand.

'I will always continue to support the hospice in the future by attending their great fundraising events and raising funds for them whenever I can; they thoroughly deserve every penny!'

If Jo's story inspires you and you would like to sign up for the St Wilfrid's Marathon team in 2018 then we'd love to hear from you! Contact Community Fundraiser Beth at 01323 434221 or email [email protected] - with 5 places to fill we're looking for amazing supporters who can raise a minimum of £500.