GENERAL entries to the Brighton Marathon are now closed but it’s still possible to secure a charity place with Worthing hospice St Barnabas House.

Over 12,000 runners will take part in the marathon in April.

Starting at Preston Park, the 26.2 mile course offers sea views and an unbeatable atmosphere.

Melanie Balcan, 37, who lives in Kent, was all set to run the Brighton Marathon in 2018 but had to pull out the week before the event due to injury.

Melanie had planned to run with her sister, Carrie, who lives in Worthing and the pair had raised a combined total of £2,739 for St Barnabas House who cared for their beloved mother, Ann Bourne.

Ann, a Littlehampton resident, was 62 when she passed away at the hospice on 19 June 2017.

This year, Melanie is back to full health and ready to do her mum proud in the 2019 Brighton Marathon.

Melanie said: “I was absolutely devastated as my sister had to run alone last year and I’ve never quite got over it, so I thought I would try again this year.

“At the time, being unable to run felt like I was cheating people who had parted with their hard earned cash to support me. I felt like I had let mum down.”

Describing the care her mother received from St Barnabas, Melanie said: “There are no words which can say how forever grateful we are that Mum was cared for by St Barnabas.

“The staff are true angels, they were professional, kind and compassionate at the most difficult time in our lives.

“The after-care the charity has given my 88-year-old father is just incredible.

“Mum would laugh and call me completely bonkers as she knows I’m not very good at running.

“Whilst laughing, I’m sure she’d be really proud as well – especially of Carrie who ran last year as she’s got a one and a half year old baby!”

Andrew Battley, Challenge Events Fundraiser at St Barnabas House, said: “Running a marathon is a rewarding experience and we’re so grateful to anyone who decides to support St Barnabas House. For example, £500 of sponsorship would enable us to hold two social evenings for bereaved friends and family.”