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Departmental Staffer Jo Grant realised a dream this year: in April 2010 she ran the London Marathon.

For Jo, getting to the 26.2 mile race was a gradual process.

'Like many people, I started running as a way to lose weight and get fit,' says Jo. 'It then became a good way of getting home from work and, before I knew it, I was signing up for 10K races such as Oxford's 'Town & Gown', half marathons and even my first full marathon in Abingdon last year. To run the London Marathon, one of the biggest and most prestigious in the world, was an ambition fulfilled for me.'

Jo ran in aid of the charity Disability Sports Events, which creates participation opportunities for disabled people with all impairments. High standard national and international championships in such sports as swimming, archery, and athletics offer athletes a chance for achievement that might not be gained otherwise. DSE was founded in 1961. Jo was one of 28 runners on DSE's charity team.

Before running, Jo hoped to complete the marathon in under 4 hours and 20 minutes -- and on the day she stormed home in just over 4 hours 8 minutes!

Jo is a Personnel/Support Assistant in the Departmental Administrator's office, working mainly on staff recruitment.

Jo's next big event: the Great North Run in September, the largest half marathon in the world. Jo will once again be running in aid of DSE, and will collect donations via her 'Just Giving' page at http://www.justgiving.com/joandloretta