SIX members of the same running club have all been accepted for this year’s London Marathon.

They are hoping to raise a bumper amount for two charities – despite never having taken part in a marathon before.

Laura Burke, 28, of Hythe and some of her friends formed their own running club three years ago.

She said: “You could say it started out as an excuse to get out and gossip while stretching our legs, but the love for running soon followed and our little club started to grow.

“We soon began to understand what an amazing thing running is.

“It brings out remarkable qualities and strengths in people, including the support and drive you offer your running partners when they’re struggling to run that last mile.

“Last year we took part in the Exbury 10k and all our friends came to cheer us over the finish line.

“It gave us the determination to do more as well as the huge realisation that we could use our love of running to support charity.”

Laura and her five friends, Amber Jackson, Joe Cowley, Kevin Baker, Steve Matthews and Mark Whitfield, all from the Hythe and Dibden Purlieu area, are now members of Hardley Runners.

The six runners are hoping to raise £5,000 or £6,000 each for Southampton-based Wessex Medical Research and Get Kids Going, which provides wheelchairs for disabled children who want to take up sport.

Anyone wishing to sponsor them should visit the website