Tuesday, 17 November 2009

The story so far (PART 1 - Choosing the charities)

Hello folks! If you're not a regular reader of www.rungeordierun.com then I assume you've probably found it via www.nufc.com. Perhaps it's a good idea, then, to bring you lot up to speed with what is going on and how my preparations and training are going for the 3100 mile run across the USA in 100 days starting in May 2011. I'll start tonight with a bit about the charities and continue the series on over the next few days. Hopefully, you will all be fully informed by the weekend with all things RUN GEORDIE RUN.

Choosing the charities

Following the successful run from John O'Groats to Lands End in 2007 where £34,108 was raised for St Benedict's Hospice (Charity No. 1019410), I more or less decided straight away to do the trans USA run in 2011. I would raise funds for the Hospice again and one other local children's charity. The Hospice, of course, cared for my Mam as she spent he final days battling cancer. I was very keen to continue support them having seen and used their services first hand. Choosing a local children's charity was a much harder choice, given that their a a lot of good ones in our region.

After a lot of research I found that The Children's Foundation did an amazing amount of good work in our region. I didn't realise at the time that I had just scratched the surface regarding the good work they do! They estimate that their services touched the lives of 90,000 children in our region in 2008. A stat that speaks for itself! I really liked the fact that they had help fund some pioneering initiatives. For example, the Limbs Alive project; a pioneering new therapy, which is being piloted at the Cerebral Palsy Research & Therapy Centre in Newcastle. The project was to later win an award! Once I learned of the other amazing projects that they support then my decision had been made. Have a look at www.thechildrensfoundation.co.uk for more info. I'm sure you will be as amazed and inspired as I was!

So there it was! St Benedict's Hospice and The Children's Foundation would be the recipients of as much money I could raise for putting myself through 3 years of training with a 3100 mile run across the USA at the end!

The personal sacrifice of funding the tour myself, quitting my job, risking my health and being away from my family for over 3 months seemed fairly insignificant when I thought about the benefit to the end recipients of those 2 charities.

An added and very significant motivation is the fact that I'm a Geordie. A plain and simple Geordie! And, as a Geordie, I'm very proud indeed to have this opportunity to represent our region by running 3100 miles across the deserts, mountains and plains of the USA. Ultimately, I've got a chance to show that us Geordies are made of very stern stuff and that, when the chips are down and the odds are against us, we can achieve what seems like the impossible. It's not a feat that I can even contemplate without the help and support of my friends, family, colleagues and those good folk who, like you, have discovered www.rungeordierun.com.

I'm glad to have you all aboard! Just like the 2007 run from John O'Groats to Lands End I hope you enjoy what promises to be one hell of a rollercoaster journey. It will be worth it, I guarantee it! Now let's try and raise as much money as we can for St Benedict's Hospice and The Children's Foundation; 2 amazing North East charities!