A former soldier is taking on the London Marathon in full military kit complete with a 15kg rucksack.

Sarah Newey, from Oswestry, will run the 26.2-mile course on Sunday, April 23 to raise funds for Bowel Cancer UK.

Raising awareness of the disease is important to the 29-year-old because she lost her mum to bowel cancer in 2013, just months after her grandmother died from cancer also.

She said: “I decided I had to stand up and do something and so embarked on a fundraising mission. In 2014 I ran 1,000-miles of obstacle races to raise awareness of cancer.”

Before becoming a teacher, Sarah served for six years with the Royal Signals and then as a combat medic.

“The physical side of being a soldier was tough, so I thought this would be a great challenge,” she said.

Sarah is a keen runner who usually completes a marathon in around three hours and 20 minutes, but with the added weight her aim is to finish in under six hours.

She added: “Bowel cancer is treatable if caught early, unfortunately for my family it was too late. 

“I’m putting myself through this difficult challenge to make people sit up and pay attention. Go to the doctors if something isn’t quite right.”

More than 44 people die from bowel cancer every day in the UK and it’s the nation’s second biggest cancer killer.

Donations can be made at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ weightedmarathon