A founder member of the Chivenor Military Ladies Choir will be swapping song sheets for running shoes when she takes on the TCS London Marathon next month.
Jane Batchelor from Fremington will be joining thousands of runners braving the iconic 26.2-mile course in the capital on Sunday, April 23.
After applying for a place for nine years without success, Jane was offered a gold bond place to run for Children’s Hospice South West (CHSW), which runs the Little Bridge House children’s hospice, also in Fremington.
“I’ve been running for around 10 years now and after being rejected for the London Marathon so many times, I thought it’s now or never,” said Jane.
“I feel very lucky to be offered a place by CHSW and am really looking forward to the day and the whole atmosphere.
After visiting Little Bridge House for a marathon runners’ breakfast and tour a few weeks ago, I knew it was the right charity to be running for.
“I can’t imagine how devastating it must be to deal with the news that your child is terminally ill, so by raising funds for CHSW, I hope to do my bit to help families make the most of short and precious lives,” added the mum-of-two.
Jane has been training hard over the winter months and took part in Bideford Half Marathon earlier this month as part of her London preparations.
“I did get to the end and think how am I ever going to do double this but I’ve been steadily increasing the distance and have since managed a 20-mile run so I’m hoping I’ll be able to complete the 26.2 miles on April 23,” she said.
Before Jane takes her place on the start line in London, the soprano hopes to smash her £2,000 fundraising target with a little help from her friends in the Chivenor Military Ladies Choir, which shot to fame in choirmaster Gareth Malone’s BBC television programme The Choir.
The group had a Christmas number one with the song Wherever You Are, and from a debut performance at Barnstaple Pannier Market in 2011, have gone on to sing at the Royal Albert Hall, Downing Street and Buckingham Palace.
This month they will be performing a little closer to home, with a special charity concert to support Jane’s fundraising at Christ Church in Braunton on Tuesday, March 28 at 7pm.
“We hope it will be a very special evening with a varied set featuring a lot of reflective music, as well as some upbeat songs,” said Jane.
“Tickets are £10 each and all the money raised will be split between my marathon fundraising for CHSW and the Chivenor Military Ladies Choir.”
Tickets are available on the door, or in advance from Jane, on 07899 964580.