Saturday, 04 December 2021

Animal lover and butcher to run Marathon for charities

Animal lover and butcher to run Marathon for charities

A WOMAN is to run the London Marathon virtually in aid of a charity that saves dogs.

Jo Bell, 54, from Caversham, is one of thousands of people who will be taking part in Sunday’s event in the capital or on a route of their choosing.

She will start her 26.2 miles at the Mill at Sonning theatre, where she works in the box office, and follow a circular route incorporating the Thames Path.

She will be running in aid of NoToDogMeat, which supports efforts to save dogs and cats from the meat trade in other countries such as China.

Mrs Bell, who has a Chorkie dog called Alfie, 13, said: “It is horrific what happens to those poor dogs and cats. I support a lot of animal causes and any animal cruelty is bad but I think there is something unforgivable about what goes on in the dog and cat meat trade.”

She also ran the London Marathon virtually last year in pouring rain.

In preparation for Sunday’s run, she completed the Chilterns 50km race last week in aid of the World Wildlife Fund.

Mrs Bell said: “I am still a bit stiff from that but I’m sure it will be fine. I will jog and walk — it’s all for a good cause.”

She will be cheered on by friends and family but her husband Geoff, 71, will not be there as he has pre-booked a holiday. To sponsor Mrs Bell, visit

Meanwhile, a butcher in Watlington is to run the marathon in London in aid of a spinal injury charity.

Kevin Page, 59, has already raised almost £3,000 for Horatio’s Gardens, which creates and nurtures beautiful gardens in NHS spinal injury centres.

He said: “A friend put me in touch with the charity. I knew her husband who was tetraplegic. The charity gives people who suffer from spinal injury somewhere to go and it’s all volunteer-based so they really need all the financial support they can get and that’s why I decided to do it.”

Mr Page, who has worked for butchers Calnan Brothers in High Street for 40 years, last ran the marathon 10 years ago when he finished in four hours and 32 minutes.

He said: “I’m hoping to do better this time as I’m about a stone lighter than last time and feel I can run faster.

“The support from the people of Watlington has been so good and a lot of them have been asking me how I was getting on during the training. I’ve been running a couple of times a week and gone for longer runs at the weekend and I ran the Plymouth Marathon, so I feel ready.”

To donate, visit https://uk.virginmoney

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