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Ex-weekly journalist to run marathon in great-grandmother’s memory

A former regional journalist is set to run the London Marathon for charity in memory of his great-grandmother.

Joshua Fowler, who used to work for the Romford and Ilford Recorder, will take on the challenge in April in aid of Saint Francis Hospice.

Joshua’s great-grandmother Jane Murphy was an inpatient at the hospice, in the village of Havering-atte-Bower, before her death in 2008.

It will be the second time he has competed in the marathon, having previously done so for the same charity in 2013.

Josh Fowler

Joshua, 29, told the Recorder: ““My great nan spent her final days at the hospice and I still remember the overwhelming sense of calmness and everyone being very lovely when I went to visit her.

“Growing up in Dagenham, I have always known about the hospice and the huge pressure it is under to raise the funds it needs. Whatever little I can do to help raise awareness, and funds, will be a drop in the ocean compared to what it deserves.”

Joshua, pictured above, who now works as a financial adviser, added: “When I ran in 2013, I didn’t train enough. The first half was fine and then I hit the brick wall. The day after the London Marathon I could not walk properly. This time I will be better prepared. My training has started and I am doing 6-7 mile runs at the moment.

“[On the day}, the excitement starts from waking up early, getting to the train station where the only people on the platform are those running and getting to Blackheath where it starts. The atmosphere is absolutely electric.

“There’s an incredible sense of community around the streets of London as people are playing music, shouting your name and handing you sweets. When I crossed that finish line at the end it’s an odd feeling – a combination of pride and relief. It took a few weeks for it to all sink in, really.

“The moment they give you the medal is a real treasured memory, and even after the race you get congratulations from people walking past because they see your medal – it’s just such a special occasion.”