A MARATHON runner has taken on a huge series of gruelling challenges in memory of a much loved Granddad.

Oliver McGuiness, 23, from Carlisle, is training hard ahead of the London Marathon on Sunday, April 26.

It's the latest in a series of sinew straining running feats for the Eden Valley Hospice and so far she's raised over £3,500.

Over the past few years she's taken part in a raft of races including the Manchester Half Marathon, Great Cumbrian Run, Manchester Marathon, London Marathon, Muttenz Half Marathon and Lausanne Marathon, both in Switzerland.

She will also be running the Rhodes Marathon in May.

Olivia, said: “The hospice is very close to my family. My Grandpa was cared for at the hospice before he sadly passed away.

"He received incredible care and love whilst he was in the hospice. I run for him.

“I took part in the London Marathon two years ago and it was an incredible experience.

"I feel very grateful to have a ballot place this year, which has given me the opportunity to support the hospice.

"When you see a family member of friends in the crowd cheering you along, it means absolutely everything to me knowing I have the support around me.

“The hardest part of a marathon is hitting the wall.

"You feel like it is impossible to continue because your body is in so much physical pain and you are mentally exhausted.

"This will be my fourth marathon and it actually does not get any easier.

Olivia added: “I am currently working in Switzerland and training in the Alps is definitely a challenge with the altitude and hills.

"I have also started a running group with the students in Switzerland, last year we took part in the Basel marathon and this year the goal is Rhodes.

“Sign up for a challenge you initially think impossible.

"By having a goal in mind you are challenging yourself, and becoming the best version of yourself by striving to achieve this.

"I signed up for my first marathon on the day of my first half marathon.

"I was in agony after 13 miles, but I wanted to push myself further and double the distance.”

Eden Valley Hospice, on Durbar Road, Carlisle, cares for local people with life limiting illness, it provides a 12 bed adult in-patient unit, an Adult Day Hospice, an out-patient clinics, complementary therapies and gives support for carers.

The Jigsaw, Cumbria’s Children’s Hospice, also on Durbar Road, offers daycare, overnight stays, family and sibling support

A hospice spokesperson said: "We recognise that it is only through the generosity of local people that we are able to continue to provide the highest standard of care, free of charge to our patients and their families.

"This care and compassion are extended to all the patient’s families, friends and carers."

Anyone who would like to sponsor Olivia as she runs the iconic marathon in aid of Eden Valley Hospice, go-online to justgiving.com/fundraising/olivia-mcguiness4

For further hospice information or to fundraising go to: edenvalleyhospice.org or ring 01228 817656.