Charlotte Dollimore, a property solicitor at Humphries Kirk LLP in Parkstone, completed the Bournemouth Marathon last month to raise vital funds for a charity which cared for her niece who was born prematurely.

Charlotte, now 40, completed the 26.2 mile route in 4 hours and 38 minutes which was under her target time and has so far raised more than £800. The funds have gone directly to the charity BLISS which provides care and support for premature and sick babies as well as their families.

Charlotte’s niece Ruby was the inspiration behind her fundraising. She was born almost 12 weeks before her due date as a result of Charlotte’s sister suffering from a severe and life-threatening form of pre-eclampsia.

To train for the marathon Charlotte ran 34 miles per week for 16 weeks leading up to the event. In the past Charlotte has completed 5km, 10km and half marathon runs.

Charlotte said: “The marathon was one of the toughest mental and physical challenges I have ever done. But compared to what Ruby, my sister and her husband went through last year, it has been a walk in the park.

“I will never forget the day I met Ruby through an incubator, weighing just 2lb 3oz. The support my family received in hospital was amazing and I wanted to raise funds for BLISS to help support the premature and special baby units and give many more tiny babies the best possible start in life.”

In the first weeks, months and year of Ruby’s life she defied all odds to become a strong and cheerful little girl who has recently taken her first steps.

Charlotte added: “I found the last few miles a huge struggle, but seeing my family cheering me on was a real emotional moment and gave me the push I needed to sprint to the finish line.”