A BARRY woman will run the 2013 London Marathon in tribute to her father, who died earlier this year.

Jessica Mort, of Nant Talwg Way, will complete the 26.2mile run in aid of the charity Heart UK, which aims to raise awareness of the dangers of high cholesterol and improve treatment for those diagnosed.

Her father, Kevin Venton, died suddenly in March at the age of 60 from Ischaemic Heart Disease (IHD), and Jessica, 38, hopes her efforts will be a fitting tribute to him.

"It's too late for my dad but hopefully someone else's death can be prevented," she said.

"My dad ticked all the boxes but it was never diagnosed. Hopefully this may encourage people to get their hearts checked out."

"He would be so proud of me," she added.

"He would be laughing at me - but he would be thrilled!"

As part of her training, the mum-of-three will also run the Bath Half Marathon on March 3 - the first anniversary of her father's death.

"When I was first accepted for the London Marathon it seemed a long way away - but I've just started a 25 week training programme," she said.

"It will be such an achievement for me. "When I finish it, I'm going to be in floods of tears as I'm doing it for a reason."

Jessica hopes to raise more than £1,750 for the charity and has organised a black tie event, with a three course meal, at the St David's Hotel on Saturday (November 10).

During the night there will also be an auction, drawn by former Eastenders and The Bill star Billy Murray, with a range of prizes.

"Dad was football mad and I have managed to get a football signed by the whole Manchester Utd team," she said.

"I've also got a signed Man Utd shirt with 'Venton 60' on the back too."

Entertainment will be provided by singer Frank from the VIP Lounge in Cardiff Bay, singer Joel Ball, plus a caricaturist and an illusionist.

Jessica has already organised other fundraising initiatives, including a sponsored penalty shoot-out involving Island Marine FC at Maslin Park that raised £800, and a sports day at Barry Island Primary School that raised £100.

She is also holding a night of live music and a raffle at The Windsor on December 8 from 6pm onwards. Tickets are £5 and are available from the pub.

* Tickets for the black tie event at St David's Hotel on Saturday (November 10) are £45 and are available from jessmort@hotmail.co.uk

* To sponsor Jessica online go to: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/jessicamort