A FIRST-TIME runner has smashed her target and raised £1,500 for a village school project through completing the London Marathon last Sunday.

Laura Rettie, 31, from Perrotts Brook has been training tirelessly for months, even giving up gluten, dairy products and alcohol to further her running ability.

She completed the London Marathon in five hours and 42 minutes on a mission to raise money for the North Cerney School Big Project.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the race and the atmosphere was amazing on the day,” said Laura. “I didn’t feel I did too badly for a first time runner.”

Laura initially set herself a fundraising target of £1,000 to go towards the Big Project, but has already gone above and beyond her total, raising almost £1,500.

Her sister Jenny Forde set up the Big Project in memory of their father, former Kingshill School teacher Dave Kerr Rettie, who died from cancer two years ago.

He was very active in the North Cerney community and Laura said his memory helped her when her training became particularly tough.

The project is raising money to build new facilities as theVictorian village school building is in desperate need of renovation.

Laura entered the marathon thinking she would never get in the first time around, but was delighted when she was accepted, especially as she was raising money for such a small charity.

“Training for the marathon was one of the hardest things I have ever done,” she said.

“It was painful, time consuming and expensive, but I couldn’t be happier knowing I have achieved something I worked so hard for.”

“I came straight home after the marathon. I was so tired and couldn’t really function. I’m really looking forward to being able to have a drink again.”

Laura, who runs Loz Media, said she was already considering running another marathon and had already looked at the 2015 London Marathon.

To donate to the Big Project, visit justgiving.com/lozrettie