Laura Bessell would never have considered running a half marathon until she became the treasurer of Women and Children First a year ago.

The charity in Caledonian Road works to reduce maternal and infant deaths in the most remote parts of Africa and Asia.

When they approached Laura to do the Royal Parks run, she decided she was up for the challenge.

"I'm a mother and having had a difficult birth with my first child, it's a charity close to my heart," said Laura, of Highbury, who is the chief operating officer at TV production company Argonon in Angel.

She trained by running up hills while on holiday in South Africa and then completing the Hackney Half and Robin Hood half marathons as a warm up. Laura completed Sunday's 13 mile run in just over two hours, and has raised over £1,300.

"It was gruelling," she said. "It was raining and I was battering the elements.

"I was very sore and painful afterwards and I couldn't walk very well. But it was worth it to be able to raise money to help save the lives of vulnerable women and children."

To sponsor Laura see