How things have grown

It was last November when i decided that i’d take on a marathon to raise money for Amnesty International, quickly (within minutes) i decided to run 12 marathons in 12 months – since then i’ve been riding on the seat of my pants as the challenge has taken new twists and spins.

I never really realised what would happen when i decided to do all this. But as time has passed i’ve been amazed how it has taken off.

Friends know me as quite a cocky and confident individual, but throughout this year so far i’ve felt so exposed and vulnerable. Not knowing where this will lead me. I get the impression that because i can run a marathon quite quickly that people think that this challenge is quite easy. This has pushed me to take on more and more challenges to live up the heighten expectations. Marathon running is quite a lonely exercise, i’ve faced some dark moments in my races, when all i’ve wanted to do is stop and say i can’t do it. It’s a horrible experience vomiting as you run or realising you have nothing left inside you, and that you just have to keep on running.

But you can’t let that get you down.

What makes this all worthwhile is that people are starting to take note of what i’m doing and are becoming aware of the conflict in the Congo. It gave me a real boost the other day when a friend emailed me a link of a discussion on BBC Radio 4 about the DRC. Would he have listened to it or emailed it without me doing these runs – i don’t know, but i like to think this challenge has made him more aware of the conflict in the DRC.

What i’ve found hard recently is that as thing has taken off, i am now beginning to feel conscious about talking about the challenge of these marathons. It’s hard when a friend tells you “you’ll love wearing flipflops at Glastonbury so you can show you’re toenails off and talk about your marathons.” I hadn’t even thought about it – the marathons are just a means to get people engaged in the DRC so i can try and inform people about the Congo. I’d bake a thousand cakes if it meant that people would take note of what is happening in the DRC.

I’m halfway through and as positive as i am. i know that the hardest part of the journey isn’t even near yet.


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