A pensioner who discovered she was a talented runner at the late age of 59 has just completed her fourth fundraising marathon.
Raquel Russel Ponte, of The Chase, Eastcote, took part in the 26-mile Venice Marathon on Sunday to raise funds for the Friends of Michael Sobell House.
The charity supports Michael Sobell House, a hospice based at Mount Vernon Hospital.
The retired 65-year-old, said: "I am doing it for the hospice because two of my best friends were treated there.
"Before they died I promised them I would do something to raise money for the hospice.
"I spent lots of time helping to look after them and I realised what an excellent job the hospice staff do with next to no money."
Mrs Russell Ponte ran her first marathon in 2001 for Great Ormond Street Hospital and has since run two more for the Alzheimer's Society and Cancer Research UK.
She said: "I had no history of running before the first one, but the hospital decided to give me a place and I was so grateful, especially at my age.
"I discovered I could run so it became a hobby and I decided I might as well put it into good use and give something back.
"I am going to Venice by myself and I'm running alone, so I am a little bit apprehensive because I've never been there before."
Mrs Russel Ponte flew out to Venice on Friday and is arriving home tomorrow (Thursday).
To sponsor her go to www.justgiving.com/raquelformichaelsobell.