A 104-year-old woman is looking to give veteran fundraiser Captain Sir Tom Moore a run for his money by walking a marathon for charity.

Ruth Saunders, from Newbury, Reading, originally set out to walk 104 laps of her block to match her age, a distance of about 21 miles, but decided to extend her goal to a full marathon (26.2 miles) after encouragement from her family.

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Kate Saunders, 50, said her grandmother had complained of being "really bored" during lockdown and asked if she could walk around the block.

"She really enjoyed it and thought 'well why don't I raise some money doing it?" she said.

Video by PA.

Ruth's initial fundraising target was £500, but her JustGiving page has reached £26,910 at the time of writing.

Ruth was inspired by Captain Sir Tom after he raised more than £32 million for NHS Charities Together this summer by walking 100 laps of his garden ahead of his 100th birthday.

Ruth said: “I felt empowered by what he achieved at 100 years old."

She is walking for Thames Valley Air Ambulance, having previously held coffee morning fundraisers that have had to be stopped due to the pandemic.

Ruth revealed: "Thames Valley Air Ambulance is a cause that is very close to my heart.

"I’ve been supporting the charity ever since my son broke his leg in three places and needed emergency medical treatment.

"It’s an amazing life-saving service for our community.”

Kate said that she saw her grandmother almost every day, as part of her bubble, and that the family had been very careful when helping Ruth with her challenge because of coronavirus.

She said that she was encouraging people, including her two daughters Gemma, 16, and Hannah, 14, to do socially distanced laps with Ruth to keep her going.

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She added: "It's just a bit of fun, and she's absolutely loving it.

"My girls are going to do a lap with her, it'll be a memento for them."

Kate said that because the neighbourhood was quite rural it was fairly easy to maintain social distancing and other safety measures for her grandmother's walks.

She explained: "She is very strong-willed, she knows what she wants and she gets it.

"She's just a remarkable lady.

"We all hope we're like that at 104."

Amanda McLean, chief executive of Thames Valley Air Ambulance, added: "Ruth is an inspiration to us all.

"As a charity, Thames Valley Air Ambulance relies solely on the amazing fundraising efforts of people like Ruth so that we can provide our lifesaving services to the most critically ill and injured people.

"We are so lucky to have such a passionate and awe-inspiring supporter."