Hi!! Thanks for taking the time to read this and visit my page!!
I doubt me running the marathon is that much of a surprise to most of you - especially my family and close friends - it's all I've been banging on about recently I know! Sorry about that!
I have been running for about 10 years now, my first run was with my amazing Mum, she took up running "later on in life" (sorry Mum) and seeing what she could accomplish inspired me to give it a go. I'd always been kind of sporty but running was for mega fit people, right? Well it turns out that actually, if you run, you ARE a runner and as I got better, I got more and more in to it, admittedly, I really look forward to the amount I have to eat to refuel afterwards!! :)
10 years after that first run I've decided to run for more than the excuse to eat and drink more! I haven't asked for sponsorship in the past but this race is "The Big One" for me. I've watched London marathon and always been moved by the sheer effort runners of all levels put in to complete that race. This year I have decided it's time I made that effort, and as it's probably one of those "once in a lifetime" experiences, I want to achieve more than just a medal!
As you can see from my page and my (many-sorry!) social media posts, I am running to raise money for Plan International. A wonderful organisation that work tirelessly to end child poverty and create opportunities where children can thrive. Despite their work being world wide, it is still a charity that feels very "close" to me. When I had my own child, Elodie, it struck me just how different the world could be for her if she wasn't born in such a safe and advantageous environment. I can take so much for granted when I think about my daughter, she is safe, she has the right to an education, she has the right to live free from fear and to make her own choices as she grows. For many girls, these basic human rights are a world away. Plan International's campaign "because I am a girl" highlights the risk some children face, just because they are female.
Sadly, as it stands today, even though child marriage is officially illegal, a girl is "married" to an adult every 2 seconds of every day. These girls, some as young as 9, are removed from their families and from education and have no say in the process. As well as the obvious psychological trauma and sexual abuse these children endure as a result of the process, child "brides" are more likely to experience violent physical abuse and sadly, are much more likely to die, due to risks associated with giving birth to a child at a very, very young age.
Children who survive the marriage are then more likely to repeat the process with their own daughters, not knowing any other way. Plan International work tirelessly, not just to rescue girls from child marriage but with their communities to end the cycle, but there is still a huge battle to be won.
Plan's priorities are clear, that all girls should be able to "learn" by being able to partake in education, to "lead" by being able to be active members of their own communities, to "decide," without fear, when, who and if they marry and finally, to "thrive" - to live lives free of violence and discrimination.
Having a daughter, makes the danger that other girls face, all the more intolerable to me, I don't know why exactly, but when I read the stories of the girls Plan have helped, I can't help but think "she could be my child." I don't want to raise this money because these girls are "somebody's children" I want to raise it because this shouldn't be happening to any human in 2017 and I am so incredibly grateful to anyone who has taken the time to read this and consider sponsoring me.
Whether you can spare the price of a pint or a little bit more, it will all be going to this fantastic organisation and it makes all the early morning runs that bit easier to get through!!!!
Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving - they'll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they'll send your money directly to the charity. So it's the most efficient way to donate - saving time and cutting costs for the charity.