Mum-of-three Vicky Monk will put her best foot forward to run the well-known event in memory of her cousin, who died from motor neurone disease aged just 38.
Vicky, a podiatrist from Fareham, will take her place on the start line of the 26.2 mile race on Sunday, October 3, aiming to raise money for The Nick Smith Foundation which was set up in her cousin’s name.
Vicky and Nick, whose dads were brothers, grew up together in West Yorkshire.
Nick, who had two young children, died in December 2017 just 101 days after being diagnosed with the disease.
Vicky, 39, said she is proud to be able to take part in such a prestigious event in his memory.
She added: ‘We all miss Nick hugely and taking on the challenge of the London Marathon, to be able to raise money and build on the ongoing fantastic work that the Nick Smith Foundation has already achieved, is such an honour.
‘I know the next seven months of training will be hard work, not to mention the thought of the 26.2-mile marathon itself, but remembering what Nick had to go through will spur me on and I can’t wait to build on the legacy of an amazing man I was proud to call my cousin.’
The foundation has so far raised more than £100,000 to support research into motor neurone disease and help children who have had to face the death of a parent.
Stephen Naylor, Nick’s brother-in-law and chairman of the Nick Smith Foundation, said: ‘We were really excited to have secured a place in such a prestigious event and couldn’t think of anyone better than Vicky to represent us as a family and a charity.
‘The past year has been hard for all charities and I hope as many people as possible get behind Vicky and her amazing London Marathon challenge in the months ahead so we can support more children who have had to face the tragedy of the death of a parent and more research into the awful motor neurone disease.’
Visit nicksmithfoundation.org.uk/marathon to donate.