Two Leamington friends, Nicki Curwood and Rachel Stinton, have enjoyed running together for years.
They've even taken part in a marathon or two over the years. But never the London Marathon - until this year.
The two friends joined together and received places to run the 2020 London Marathon to benefit the LAM Action charity. LAM Action is the UK charity for women and families with Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM) and doctors caring for women with LAM.
The two friends are looking for people to sponsor them in the race helping them raise valuable funds for the charity.
They have raised £581 toward a £2,000 fundraising target, which they hope to meet before the race date of Sunday April 26. Anywho would like to contribute to Nicki and Rachel's 2020 London Marathon fundraising campaign can see their Virgin Money Giving web page.
The friends posted the following message online to help encourage sponsorships: "We both love running, but we decided that we wanted to do something special in 2020 and combine our running with fund-raising for a good cause.
"So we will run the London Marathon to raise money for LAM Action. It's quite a small charity supporting sufferers of lung disease and their families. It affects mainly women, and it's rare - affecting around seven women in every million. It's a progressive disease, and there is currently no cure for it.
"This charity does provide support for sufferers and funds research in its endeavours to find a cure. And we know this because we have a mutual friend who suffers from this disease and their positivity and optimism is reason enough for us to want to ensure they continue to benefit from all this charity offers them."
Although, running a marathon is not new for either of the women. Neither of the friends have ever ran the London Marathon before.
She said: "I’ve entered into the ballot every year since I started running in 2012 – without any luck."
Nicki has ran both the Manchester Marathon and the Liverpool Rock 'n' Roll marathon. While Rachel has ran Valencia Marathon, a top six world marathon in Spain.
She added: "We signed up to run that one together, but I had to pull out due to injury."
Both Nicki and Rachel run several times a week and are active members of the Regency Runners club.
Running the London Marathon has been something Nicki has wanted to do for as long as she can remember.
She said: "I watch it every year on the TV from beginning to end (plus the news coverage and repeats.) Every year I’ve known friends who run it, and thought 'I wish it was me'.
"The atmosphere, the support, the personal goals and stories – it all looks amazing. When you run another marathon, your non-runner friends ask, 'What’s that one then? Is it like London?' You just know as a runner, that London is the marathon to do."
Both Nicki and Rachel live in Leamington. Nicki works as a marketing and communications manager for Warwick District Council and Rachel is an office manager for an area business.
Nicki added: "We’ve enjoyed many sports together over the years, aerobic classes, gym and spin classes, pilates, but running is the one thing we’ve both stuck to."