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Reporter takes on marathon bid in mother’s memory

A weekly reporter has swapped his notepad and pen for running shoes as he plans to take on two gruelling long-distance challenges over the coming months.

Later this month, Western Gazette reporter Jonathon Taylor will take on the Yeovil Half-Marathon before hitting the streets of the capital for the London Marathon in April.

He is aiming to raise £1,000 for Children with Cancer UK in memory of his mother, who died of the disease, and his step-mother who is currently fighting the illness.

In a first-person piece for the Gazette, Jonathon said he was inspired to take part in the two events after his step-mother was diagnosed with bowel cancer for the second time in three years. He lost his birth mother to stomach cancer when he was young.

“I consider the Yeovil Half Marathon and London Marathon to be two of the biggest challenges in my life but I do them for a reason,” he said.

“I am not a natural athlete but I am determined to do this for my family. I am sure that the Yeovil Half Marathon and the London Marathon will prove very emotional days for me.

“I am not entirely sure how I will feel as I cross the white line. However, I am relishing the moment when I stand alongside hundreds of other runners – each with their own tale and their own reasons for being there.

“This is my way of trying to make a difference and, hopefully, bring forward the day when we finally beat cancer.”

He said he has always drawn inspiration from his father Martin, who raised him after the disease claimed his mother, Gill.

Martin then met and married Jonathon’s step-mother Kathryn in 1995, who had also been widowed by cancer.

Three years ago, Kathryn was diagnosed with bowel cancer. She survived but was told recently that the disease had resurfaced.

“That is why I will stand at Huish Park in four weeks’ time and finish my first Yeovil Half Marathon.

“That is why I will stand alongside more than 35,000 runners in London in April and finish my first-ever full marathon.”

To sponsor Jonathon, visit his donation page.