Hello, my name is Dr Andrew Stannard. I'm a researcher in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Nottingham and I'm taking part in the 2011 London Marathon. I've never run a marathon before and I don't plan on running another. I've been trying to get a place in the London marathon for 7 years and now, finally, I have one.
I wanted to raise money for charity but, although there are many great charities out there, for a long time could not find a charity that spoke to me specifically. Then I came across "IOP for Africa", a campaign run by the Institute of Physics to raise funds to encourage physics education across Africa. IOP for Africa aims to help students, teachers and local communities use physics applications as a route out of poverty for the long term.
The recent furore surrounding the raising of tuition fees in the UK has shown that people really care about the accessibilty of education. In years to come there may be new financial hurdles, but these can be easily overcome (i.e. student loans). However, geographical hurdles are much harder to surmount, and in parts of the developing world it is simply not possible for some people to access the education that they have a right to.
So if, like me, you believe access to education is basic human right, help me help support a wonderful cause.
On a personal note, the more money that is raised the greater the psychological boost I will get to help me endure the marathon.