There are just days to go until thousands of runners take to the streets of the capital in the race of their lives.

The gruelling 26.2 miles Virgin Money London Marathon will return on Sunday, April 23, with some 39,000 runners as well as thousands of spectators.

We take a look at the brave west Londoners who will take part in this year's marathon and their inspiration behind signing up to the race.

Jonathan Jenkins - raising money for the London's Air Ambulance

Jonathan Jenkins, from Isleworth, also CEO of London's Air Ambulance to take part in his 11th marathon

The new head of the air ambulance hopes to complete his 11th London Marathon.

CEO of London's Air Ambulance, Jonathan Jenkins of Isleworth, aims to raise as much money as possible for the charity, for a second time.

The father-of-two has completed 10 marathons between 2001 to 2010, and in 2016 took on the Marathon des Sables - the toughest footrace on Earth - for the Air Ambulance.

Mr Jenkins said: “I have been a glutton for punishment when it comes to marathons, but being able to take on a real challenge whilst knowing you are raising money for incredible charitable causes has always given me huge satisfaction.

"I can’t wait to get on the course this year and know I am raising money for the wonderful charity I am lucky enough to work for.”

London’s Air Ambulance delivers a 24/7 advanced trauma team to the capital's most critically injured, costing £8.7million per year, the majority which has to be found through fundraising.

Support Jonathan, visit his Just Giving page.

Barry Cox - in memory of his father-in-law

Barry Cox will be wearing a pink flamingo costume, pictured here with wife Adele Cox

This man will stand out among the crowds sporting a pink flamingo costume as he joins the stampede of runners on Sunday.

Barry Cox from Hounslow prepares to race in memory his father-in-law who lost his life to dementia with lewy bodies (DLB) and heart failure in December 2015.

Fred Muston was a local councillor for four years from 2002 and part of the Independent Community Group (ICG) in Isleworth, sadly he suffered from DLB for three years before he died aged 79.

Fred Muston was a local councillor in Hounslow qho lost his life to Lewy Body disease

The 47-year-old, who is raising money for The Lewy Body Society , says his father-in-law was only diagnosed three weeks before he died.

His wife Adele who missed out on a London Marathon spot instead ran the half-marathon in Richmond last month.

Donate at Adele and Barry Cox's Just Giving page .

All you need to know about London Marathon 2017

Julia Mitchelmore - hopes to set unusual world record

A software engineer is hoping to set an unusual world record if she can clock the fastest time ever by a female dressed as a cheerleader.

This is part of a bigger challenge Julia Mitchelmore of Fulham has set herself, to run 26.2 marathon before she is 26.2 years old.

Currently there is no record for the category, but the Guinness World Records have told her if she wants to be a record breaker she must finish the race at a quicker time than 4.30hrs.

The marathon takes place three days after her 24th birthday and she hopes to complete her latest marathon in under four hours.

She said: “I had to send images of my costume to get it approved as a cheerleading outfit and I have to carry two pom poms the whole time.

“I’ve run 18k running with pom poms which are incredibly sweaty and make your hands very hot. They’re quite uncomfortable to hold.”

Ms Mitchelmore is raising money for UK charity Trekstock, who support young adults with cancer in their 20s and 30s.

To sponsor, visit Ms Mitchelmore’s fundraising page

Jessica Tunmore - in memory of her mother Elizabeth Perkins

Jessica Tunmore to run the London Marathon in memory of her mum

A psychology masters student from Feltham has taken on the challenge in memory of her mother.

Jessica Tunmore, aged 22, lost mum Elizabeth Perkins to Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) brain tumour in February 2015.

She has decided to take on the course to raise £3,000 in aid of charity Brain Tumour Research, to help find a cure for the disease.

Jessica said: “One of the last things that Mum asked me to before she died was to get healthy, and by taking on the London Marathon I am honouring that promise.

"I miss her every day, but she is my inspiration for training and achieving this goal.

“Mum was barely into her fifties when she died and far too young to be taken from us."

Donate at Jessica Tunmore's fundraising page .

Kayal Velaigam - to run first-ever London Marathon

Kayal Velaigam to take on her first London Marathon

A woman from Ealing is just days away from running her first gruelling 26.2mile race.

Kayal Velaigam, a sales co-ordinator at Shields Foods, is raising money for charity Crimestoppers.

Last month the 28-year-old dancer completed the North London Half-Marathon as part of preparing for the upcoming big race.

She said: “I have mixed feelings at the moment about the big day, ranging from huge excitement to full blown nerves.

“I have chosen to support Crimestoppers because we shouldn’t have to live our lives in fear and this charity is great at giving people who have information on crime a safe way to report what they know.

"Having witnessed the consequences of crime first hand, it’s a privilege to support Crimestoppers in their work helping to make our communities safer.”

Support Kayal, visit her Virgin Money Giving page.

Rakhee Sabharwal - for her father's fight against dementia

Rakhee Sabharwal of West Ealing to race for Alzheimers Research UK, for her dad who is fighting dementia

A young woman from West Ealing is running the marathon to raise awareness for Alzheimers Research UK.

Rakhee Sabharwal's father suffers from dementia and is keen to raise money to support the charity and its research.

The 34-year-old said: "My dad suffers with dementia and so I want to raise awareness and money for this amazing charity that supports and researches dementia."

To sponsor, visit Rakhee's fundraising page.

Harry Greene – for the 10 anniversary of his mum's death

Harry Greene will take on the race in memory of his mum

A shipbroker from Hammersmith who lost his mum to breast cancer over 10 years ago, when he was just a teenager, will run the race for the first time.

Harry Greene was devastated when his mum Sarah Greene was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer, for which there is no targeted treatment.

Despit undergoing chemotherapy, surgery and radiotherapy, the disease returned twice and she passed away in December 2006.

Harry Greene to run marathon following 10th anniversary of mum Sarah. Pictured Sarah Greene

The now 25-year-old will be fundraising for Breast Cancer Now's life-saving research via the Sarah Greene Fund, established in memory of his mother.

Mr Greene said: “It’s something you never fully get over. I have some amazing memories which help, and I find keeping hold of and remembering these is the best way of moving forward - Mum was an incredible woman.

“It means the world to me to be able to represent Breast Cancer Now and to keep my mum's memory living on.”

Support Harry's fundraising efforts via the Sarah Greene Fund

Sarah Double – takes on first marathon for Barnardo’s

Sarah Double training with former gold Olympic medallist Daley Thompson

A drama school leader from Feltham will step up to the challenge and take on the 26.2 mile race course this Sunday.

Sarah Double of Fruen Road ran for the first time in September last year, when she decided to sign up for the London Marathon.

The 46-year-old has been training with long runs from Feltham to Bushy Park and beyond, as well as a training session with double Olympic gold medallist Daley Thompson and Barnardo’s Vice President Floella Benjamin.

Sarah Double in training for the London Marathon with Barnardo’s Vice President Floella Benjamin

An assistant principal at Wandsworth-based Academy of Live & Recorded Arts, so far she has raised £2,6000 for Barnardo's.

She said: “Children and young people have always been a huge part of my life and I’ve had the privilege to work with many who have had challenging backgrounds. I wanted to support Barnardo’s because I know the money will really make a difference and help change lives.

“There have been moment when I’ve thought I can’t possibly do this. I’m really excited about the big day.”

To sponsor Sarah please visit her JustGiving page.

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