EVERY step of a gruelling 26 miles Heather Wood will be thinking of her hero husband, Warrant Officer Class 2 Charles Wood.

Mrs Wood has been in training since last summer to compete in the London Marathon in memory of WO2 Wood, who was killed in an explosion in Afghanistan in December 2010.

She has set herself a fundraising target of £2,000 for the Army Benevolent Fund, which supports soldiers and their families.

Last May Mrs Wood, 32, took part in a treadmill challenge where she, and WO2 Wood’s comrades from 23 Pioneer Regiment, St David’s Barracks, Bicester, ran a mile for every soldier who had died in Afghanistan. Mr Wood was the 348th.

The event, which her husband had previously organised and taken part in, spurred her on to sign up for the marathon.

Mrs Wood, of Bicester, said: “ I’d done no running before. This has taken me out my comfort zone.

“But I have really enjoyed it. It’s about eight weeks away and I just can’t believe I’m doing it.

“I have been training around Bicester wearing my ABF T-shirt.

“Quite a few people know I’m doing it and when I’m out people honk in support.

“Charlie would be absolutely amazed but immensely proud.

“I have a picture of him on my vest for the London Marathon and he will carry me through.”

Pioneers will travel to London to cheer on Mrs Wood on the day.

One of WO2 Wood’s best friends, WO2 Reg Lane, has been putting Mrs Wood through her paces, training her to run 26 miles from scratch.

Mrs Wood said: “Reg has done all my training, he was one of Charlie’s closest friends in the regiment.

“If it was not for him I would not be where I am. He comes to the house and drags me out running, a massive support.”

To help reach the fundraising target, Mrs Wood has organised a charity dinner night at Bicester Hotel Golf and Spa, Chesterton, on March 31, from 7pm to 1pm Entertainment will include a band and comedian, and a performance by the Royal Logistic Corps ‘Corps of Drums’, as well as a three-course meal.

Mrs Wood said: “It’s going to be a fantastic evening – rather than sponsoring me it would be good to come along for the evening.”

* Tickets cost £45 and are available by calling 07971 436919 or emailing Heather wood79@hotmail.co.uk. To sponsor her, visit just giving.com/Heather-Wood5