A FIT fundraiser from Hagley is preparing to tackle her first ever marathon in aid of vulnerable children.

Maxine Rushton will take part in the London Marathon on Sunday, April 23, in aid of Barnardo’s and the 52-year-old hopes to raise £2,000, before continuing her fundraising for the charity by running in the Birmingham Marathon in October.

Maxine said: “Last year I did a hundred-mile bike ride for another charity and, after completing that, I wanted another challenge.

“I’ve been training for a year. I’ve already completed the Birmingham Half Marathon and I’ll also be doing the Solihull Half Marathon and the Resolution 15K Run in Hagley.

“It’s been the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I run five times a week and average 50 mile a week, however, I don’t just want to complete the London Marathon – my target is to do it in four hours, which is a crazy goal when I’ve never run it before.”

The money Maxine raises will support the charity’s work to transform the lives of the UK’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged children and young people.

She added: “Barnardo’s is a great charity that does amazing things. Throughout my life I’ve met people who were brought up in the care system and Barnardo’s supported them through some really difficult times.

“I’m passionate about their work and keen to raise as much money as possible.”

Barnardo’s regional director Hugh Sherriffe said: “We are sincerely grateful for Maxine’s support for the charity by undertaking such a gruelling challenge.

“We aim to raise £250,000 from the marathon each year, which is used to continue our work to provide a positive future for children, young people and their families across the UK.”

To sponsor Maxine, visit www.justgiving.com/Maxine-Rushton, or to run the London Marathon in aid of Barnardo’s in 2018 visit www.barnardos.org.uk/challengeevents