SUPPORTERS of two local charities who were due to take part in the cancelled Bath Half Marathon last Sunday decided instead to carry on ‘unofficially’.

As Storm Emma hit the UK last Thursday, the Bath Half Marathon organisers decided to cancel this year’s event due to the wintry conditions.

Undeterred, a number of runners raising funds for Dorothy House Hospice at Winsley and the Wiltshire Air Ambulance at Semington were determined to go ahead and complete the half marathon distance of 13.1 miles.

Olivia Dellow, 23, and her four closest friends, Laura Clarke, Emma Gordon, Liam Mansfield and Amy Greene, ran an ‘unofficial’ half marathon in Bath on Sunday.

The five runners were part of ‘Team Dotty’ and have now raised more than £3,500 including gift aid, smashing their original target of £2,500.

The money will be split 50:50 between their two chosen charities: Dorothy House Hospice Care and bile duct cancer charity, AMMF.

The five were cheered on by 30 friends and family as well as strangers as they ran around Bath’s city centre.

Olivia said: “When we heard the Bath Half was cancelled we felt we couldn’t let the people down who had donated to our fund so we just had to go ahead with the run.

“A half marathon was a huge challenge for me so I am delighted to have beaten my target time and finished in 2 hours and 12 minutes.”

Emily Knight, event fundraiser at Dorothy House Hospice Care, said: “We are so proud of Olivia, Laura, Emma, Liam and Amy for completing their own half marathon challenge.

“Well done on raising so many vital funds to help the hospice care for patients, their families and carers.”

She added: “Dorothy House will announce alternative fundraising options to our 206 Bath Half runners on our website this week.”

Richard Phillips, 56, of Chippenham, and his daughters Natasha, 28, of Melksham, Alyesha, 26, of Bristol, and Lauren, 22, of Chippenham, ran the half marathon on treadmills at Atlas Gyms in Chippenham to raise funds for Wiltshire Air Ambulance.

The charity will offer supporters places to run in the Devizes Half Marathon on April 8 or the Swindon Half Marathon on September 9.