THE DEDICATION of family and friends inspired a first-time marathon runner to complete the gruelling course to raise funds for carers of terminally ill children.

Ruth McGarahan, of Brentmead Gardens, Ealing, has grown up watching her father compete in the 26-mile races and wanted to do the same.

Reverend Kevin McGarahan, associate vicar of St Mary's Church, West Twyford, has run about 30 of the events, until injury stopped him competing.

So when his 24-year-old daughter found out two of her friends were running in the London Marathon on April 25, she decided the time was right to hit the track herself.

She said: "I always wanted to do it just to prove I could.

"I've done quite a lot of 10K runs just for fun but with all the training I'm certainly over that bug now."

Once she had decided to put herself forward it was easy to choose which charity she wanted to run for, Children's Hospices UK.

Miss McGarahan said: "Basically I stumbled across them through my job. I work as a PA in children's television and the company decided to choose them as one of the charities they support.

"I went to visit one in Guildford and was just blown away by the work they do, both with children and their families, providing respite and helping them deal with death, and that's just one hospice. Children's Hospices UK is the blanket charity which raises money for hospices across the country.

"I have a few problems with my knees and ruptured a ligament a few years ago but other than that I couldn't be fitter.

"I did 18 miles about a week ago and I could have been a lot more injured after I finished so I think I'm on track. Although I couldn't walk for a few days after."

Visit Miss McGarahan's fundraising web page at to donate.