London Marathon – The Decision to run for Save The Rhino

I got the magazine – you know the one – from Virgin London Marathon and it said ‘Sorry’ on the front cover. it’s a very nice magazine full of fascinating information about the London marathon, how to train and how to fuel for a marathon but it still says ‘Sorry’ on the front cover. It means that you don’t get to run in the London Marathon.

I was, well shall we say disappointed.

I decided at that point that I wouldn’t apply for a charity place. That meant that I wouldn’t run in the London Marathon. I’ve entered for Edinburgh next year and I would be happy for that to be my first marathon. It’s a great city and a great course. I’m sure that I’ll love it.

The decision stayed like that for some time but then I began reading the ‘Sorry’ magazine. I saw some of the really great fundraising ideas and thought how much I might enjoy doing some of that stuff. I noticed that one of the charities was ‘Save The Rhino’. As a long time fan of Douglas Adams I have encountered ‘Save The Rhino’ many times. Douglas was a founder member of the charity. However, I felt that it was probably too much to take on at the moment and I was worried about hassling my family and friends to give me donations for the next 6 months.

It was left like that for a couple of days and then Carrie says to me – “you rhinologoknow Save The Rhino are one of the London Marathon Charities?” I said that I was fully cognizant of this. “Wouldn’t you like to run for Save The Rhino?” Well of course I would like to but there were so many potential problems. The main one was that I thought I wouldn’t be able to raise much money. I’d been looking through some of the requirements for other charity places on the marathon and most asked for a 100 pounds registration fee and a pledge to raise at least 2000 pounds. How on earth could I possibly raise 2000 pounds. Carrie waved away my protests. She was buzzing with ideas for raising money and getting people interested in both the charity and my attempt at running a marathon.

There are times when Carrie gets an idea in her head and at those times she suddenly becomes a nuclear powered, unstoppable train, going downhill. She assailed me with so many positive ideas and notions that I was soon swept up in the joy of it all. Moments later I’m in front of a computer screen picking my way through the application process. Save the Rhino, along with the other London Marathon charities have only a limited number of places so they need to make sure they get the best fundraisers that they possibly can. For Save The Rhino in particular this is their biggest single fundraising event of the year so  it’s extremely important to make it count. Such thinking is all very laudable but it does mean that the application process is very much akin to applying for a job. It involves a certain amount of blood, sweat and tears to sell yourself sufficiently that they’ll take you on. I wept those tears, sweated that blood and put together what I hoped would be a decent application. Save the Rhino saw my application and judged that it was good. Only a couple of days later they wrote and offered me a place. I had a few more hoops to jump through and a couple of hurdles and a few poly tunnels to crawl through and I was in.

A London Marathon runner am I.

Now to raise the 2500 pounds that I promised to do in my application. This is a terrifyingly large amount of money to ask for from my friends and family. Most of them are struggling through this recession trying to live frugally and avoid extravagance. I put together my fundraising page and Carrie kicked it off with the first donation. Over the next couple of days more people joined in and after less than a week I find that I’m over a fifth of the way toward my target.

I have some wonderfully generous friends. Thank you very much.

I’m much more hopeful now that I can achieve my fundraising target for Save The Rhino and possibly even surpass it.

There is also the small matter of attempting to run 26.22 miles. A distance I’ve never run before and a distance that seems further than my mind can contemplate.

So you’re probably now desperate to hand over some money to help me reach my target and also to contribute toward the conservation of this few remaining rhino.

It’s easy – just head over to this page

and donate.


Thank you very much

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