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[p][b]The Baker’s Dozen - 13 Great British Bake Off Contestants taking on the ultimate challenge of running the world’s greatest marathon. [/b][/p][p]Hello,[/p][p]My name is Jane and you may recognise me from the Great British Bake Off 2016.[/p][p]I just wanted to share with you some of the reasons I wanted to take part in the Virgin Money London Marathon.[/p][p]My connection to the London Marathon goes back to 1981, the first year that the race was held. I lived in a house with a group of friends just about a mile from the start line. Always looking for something to do on a Sunday morning we strolled up to Greenwich Park to watch the runners stream out of the gates. Although the event was much smaller then there was still a fantastic buzz about the race and even then I thought it would be something I would love to be part of.[/p][p]Well the years ticked by and life got in the way, I was never a runner and there were always so many more fun things to go than put myself through the pain of learning to run. I never had (and still don’t) the breath for it and smoking and evenings at the pub didn’t help.[/p][p]Eighteen years on, I was married with two small children and I needed to find some work that fitted in with my family life. I started working for a local data entry company, it was perfect, I could work from home and still pick the kids up from school. That company had the contract for all the data entry for the London Marathon, no on-line entries in those days, every completed application form had to be typed into a database along with all the rejected entries. By that time the London Marathon had become an enormous event and there were tens of thousands of entries. I used to joke that my fingers had run the marathon several times over but my feet had still not moved very far![/p][p]Each year I typed the application forms I resolved to get fit and start running. I managed the odd stagger around the block but always found it so hard that I didn’t need much of an excuse to put my trainers back in the cupboard, it is only too easy to give up, so my dream of taking part remained just that, a dream.[/p][p]Thirty Seven years on from that first race I have been extremely fortunate to get a place in the Virgin Money London Marathon. I figure if I am ever going to tick this off my bucket list now is the time. So here I am, staggering around the block but not giving up this time. [/p][p]Another reason for wanting to run is for fitness, my mother had vascular dementia, a cruel and distressing condition for the sufferer and their loved ones. If by keeping fit and getting the blood pumping round my body I can avoid the same fate as my mother then what more incentive do I need for lacing up the running shoes? I am not trying to break any records just be able to get round the course before they take down the finishing posts, enjoy the event and try and encourage all overweight, unfit oldies like me to start exercising. Who knows I may lose my Bake Off bum too![/p][p]The charities I have chosen to support are GOSH and Demelza. My two children are the most important things in my life, they have been blessed with good health for which I am eternally grateful for. Please help me to raise money for these two amazing organisations whose work treating sick children and supporting families of children with life limiting conditions is invaluable. You never know if or when you, your loved ones or your friends may need the help of one of these charities so please be generous.[/p][p]Never a day goes by that I am not thankful for my healthy and happy children. Please help support those families who are not so fortunate.[/p][p]Thank you so much.[/p][p]Jane x[/p][p][br][/p][p][br][/p][p][br][/p]