A ROOKIE runner is taking part in her first ever marathon to raise vital funds for a charity which helps people like her late nan.

Clare Moyce, from Maldon, is running the Virtual London Marathon at the town’s Promenade Park on October 3.

The 36-year-old will start the run bright and early at about 8am, and is giving herself up to seven hours to complete it.

The virtual finish line is at her place of work at the Queen Victoria in Spital Road.

Clare said she chose the park as she knows the route and it has all the essentials needed.

It also gives the added opportunity for the community to go cheer her on and even join in for moral support.

Clare said: “I only started running in the first lockdown with Couch to 5k to help with my anxiety, fitness, and weightloss, and that’s where the love for it came.

“I’m a single mum, so get my training in between school runs and work and on weekends.

“Sometimes my daughter will cycle with me on short distances.

“She was with me a lot when I did the Couch to 5k and I’m sure she will be there to help me finish.”

Since lockdown, Clare ran 24 miles in an event in July.

Having joined slimming world with Paul's group in Maldon, Clare has lost 34lbs so far and only has half a stone to go until she reaches her target.

And the runner has been voted twice as the group's woman of the year.

She is doing the park run route to raise money for Versus Arthritis, in memory of her grandmother, Connie Bryant.

“My granny suffered badly from arthritis all her life,” she said.

“I’ll never forget her poor hands and sore feet, and the pain she would be in, and the family trying to help her by giving her massages.

“It was the arthritis that was the underlying cause of her stroke and problems with her heart. Sadly, granny left us on March 31, 1999.”

Clare chose Versus Arthritis as it helps people like her nan with breakthrough treatments, information and vital support.

The runner is urging the community to support her and help her fight the pain, isolation and fatigue caused by arthritis.

To help reach her goal of raising £1,500 for the cause, go to bit.ly/3nGF4AC.