A tiny portion of the London Marathon will be coming through Stourbridge this weekend – thanks to Candy Cooley.

Candy, who has multiple sclerosis (MS), was all set to run the London Marathon until it was cancelled because of Covid.

But she was determined to still raise money for the MS Society so she decided that if she could not go to the London Marathon, she would bring the marathon to her door.

All around the world runners are setting themselves alternative challenges, and Candy, who diagnosed 23 years ago, will be doing a 26.2 mile ‘virtual’ London Marathon through the streets of Pedmore and Hagley.

Candy, from Pedmore, started running at Mary Stevens Park ‘Couch to 5K’ programme in October 2017 as part of her 60th birthday challenges.

“I had been in training for the marathon for about 14 weeks when lockdown happened in late March,” she said.

“After lots of confusion about whether and when it would take place, I am now taking part in the virtual London Marathon on October 4.

“All enthusiastic cheering or hooting for a grey-haired lady wearing a bright orange MS T-shirt would be most appreciated!”

She will set out at 8am and aims to complete her marathon in under seven hours.

“I'm taking part in the virtual marathon as I wanted to say 'thank you' to all the medical researchers, doctors and MS nurses who have supported me and kept me so well over the years,” she added.

“I also wanted to show that MS can affect people in different ways and isn’t necessarily the devastating diagnosis it is often perceived as. I am determined to carry on with the race to raise awareness of MS as well as gather funds for the MS Society.”

Candy's amazing effort will help support the MS Society including the local Dudley & District branch of the MS Society which is aimed at anyone who has MS, their families and friends.

Rose Barratt, fundraising volunteer for the branch, said: “It's really important that local people with MS are aware that there is support and information available for them and Candy's fundraising will help us to continue to offer that support.”

You can support Candy at: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-display/showROFundraiserPage?pageId=1134687

The Dudley & District branch can be reached at dudley@mssociety.org.uk, on Facebook for MSdudley Branch or followed on Twitter @MSSocietyDudley