Indya Clayton met some of the Oxfordshire runners ahead of today's London Marathon.

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Terry Rose, from Oxford, was running the London Marathon in honour of three people close to him who passed away from cancer.

The 38-year-old lost his friends Sean Ryan and Kevin Godfrey and his father-in-law Colin Williams last year.

He is raising money for Oxford’s Sobell House Hospice, which cared for his friends.

Read also: The great and the good share their experiences of Sobell House

He said: “I’ve seen first-hand what they do for the patients and how they support the families and it is amazing.

“It’s my way of saying we’re still fighting and thinking of those who passed away.”

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David Roche from Bicester was running for those who have served in the Armed Forces.

The 53-year-old, a serving Army Reservist with 7 Rifles at Oxford Officers’ Training Corps, is raising money for the Royal British Legion.

His father served with the RAF, his brother with the Royal Navy and his grandfather served with the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry and saw action in the Somme.

Mr Roche said: “I grew up listening to amazing stories from my two uncles, Roy and Bill Buckingham.

Obituary: Former Lord Mayor of Oxford Bill Buckingham

“Sadly these great gentlemen are no longer here, but I have inherited their commitment and passion for the Armed Forces."

A Didcot marathon veteran who also came first in the 2017 Oxford Race For Life will run tomorrow for her mum.

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Eileen Naughton, 36, ran the marathon last year but four weeks later lost her mother to oesophageal cancer.

She is raising money for the Oxfordshire Oesophageal and Stomach Organisation based at the Churchill Hospital where she says her mother was cared for.

The passionate runner said: “My mum was my best friend, a great encouragement and an inspiration to many.

Read also: Superwoman Eileen Naughton talks about taking on her ninth London Marathon

“We made the most of every single day together – visits to the beach, sitting in the garden listening to the birds, going for bike rides.

"Mum never stopped smiling.”

Ms Naughton was also trying to break the world record for the fastest female marathon runner dressed as a hospital patient.

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Sue Manhood from Abingdon planned to take on the 26.2-mile run while still battling breast cancer.

The 53-year-old said she wants to inspire others with cancer to continue to do what they love.

Read also: Bill Heine talks about being diagnosed with cancer

She said: “I’m running the marathon because I have cancer: without it I would be watching the marathon on the TV.

“I want to say ‘thank you’ to all the great NHS staff and to help others on their cancer journey and show others that you can still do what you love with cancer.”

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Witney horse rider Eleanor Martin was running the marathon in aid of an international animal welfare charity.

This will be Ms Martin’s second time doing the challenge for Brooke, a charity which protects and improves the lives of working horses, donkeys and mules around the world.

The 31-year-old has been riding since she was three, so the charity is close to her heart.

She said: “I remember sending my first donation to Brooke of about £7. I’m aiming for a little more than that for running the Marathon.”

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Oxford Brookes University student Aaron Leadbeater was racing in honour of his best friend who died suddenly in 2015.

The geography student is raising funds for Cardiomyopathy UK in memory of Sam Fitzgerald.

Mr Fitzgerald had hypertrophic cardiomyopathy which causes the heart muscle to thicken and restrict blood flow, increasing the likelihood of blockages.

This happened to him whilst he was at work and, despite best efforts, he could not be saved.

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Mr Leadbeater said: “I remember the moment at Sam’s funeral where I never had the courage to stand up and say how special he was to me and my friends.

“I’m really happy to have the opportunity and courage to run the London Marathon in Sam’s honour and remember him for the fantastic person he was."

This year’s marathon will be the first for one woman from Sutton Courtenay.

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Katie Down, 30, was running for Charlie Waller Memorial Trust, a charity that encourages people to talk about depression.

The mother-of-two said: “This is the first time I have ever entered any sort of event like this as I am not a runner.

Read also: Music festival in teenager's memory raises money for mental health charity

"After going to London each year and supporting the runners, I decided to enter this time, but being unsuccessful through the ballot, I contacted the charity directly.”

Miss Down chose the charity as she felt there was a lack of awareness about mental health amongst young people.

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Nikki Petherick from Witney lost her mother to cancer last year, and was  running in London for her and Sobell House.

Her mother spent four days at the Headington hospice in August before she passed away.

Miss Petherick said the hospice helped her mother even before she was admitted.

The 28-year-old said: “I can’t even begin to describe how amazing the staff are.

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“I promised mum that if she had to go into Sobell House that I would be right there with her, and they helped me keep that promise. They gave me bedding and a place to shower as well as making sure I’d had something to eat so I could stay by my mum’s side.”

While Miss Petherick stayed with her mum she was able to see how the staff help other patients.

She said: “I want to raise money for Sobell House so they can continue to provide such an amazing service to those who need it.”