A BRAVE project manager has completed her first ever London Marathon to raise money for a cause that is close to her heart.

Growing up Claire Biggs, who lives in Malmesbury, always felt a particularly affinity with animals, and after seeing videos of the barbaric torture of dogs and cats in countries which still consider them to be food, she knew that the NoToDogMeat charity would be her cause of choice.

The charity helps campaigners rescue animals, set up shelters and lobby governments to end cruel practices which are fast becoming unacceptable to many people in those countries.

This year the London Marathon was very different, with only the elite race taking place in the capital on Sunday due to the coronavirus pandemic.

However, thousands of people across the globe completed marathon distance on routes local to them, including two of Claire’s teammates, who ran in China and Australia.

Claire, 38, who works for Dyson, said: “My family are often more into animals than some people, the thought of them being treated like this in parts of our world upsets me.

"My beautiful friend Sarah was running the marathon and we were going along to support from the side lines.

"Now it is being run like this my friend Jess and I wanted to continue to support Sarah so we agreed we would all complete this together.”

Claire, Sarah and Jess finished the marathon in a time of 7:28:00.

"We had a route which we chose to walk as me and Jess had done no training," Claire said.

"It must have been the worst day for weather this year, it was horrendous."

Julia de Cadenet, CEO and founder of the NoToDogMeat charity, said: “We are so proud of Claire who ran her first ever marathon in aid of our charity.

“We are a grassroots organisation and we don’t have big budgets for the work that we do, all of the money that we raise goes directly towards helping the dogs and cats.”

And offering a little bit of advice to anyone thinking of taking part in their first marathon, Claire added: “I would have made the decision a lot sooner so I had more time to prepare!”

So far, Claire has raised £600.

To sponsor Claire, visit www.totalgiving.co.uk/mypage/clairebiggs