Welcome to the regular blog post following my preparation for the Virgin Money London Marathon 2016 on April 24th. I’m a seasoned half marathon runner but the 26.2 miles have always eluded me; however now it is time to up the distance (before I get too old and my knees fail)! The cause is important – to save the Wild Child and I am raising money which will allow the Trust’s Education Team deliver outreach sessions to a children’s centre in Coventry bringing children and their families closer to nature, creating lifelong memories while improving their health and wellbeing.
Three weeks to go! A lot has happened in the last fortnight with lots of long runs, achy legs and chocolate eggs but this week I’m giving over the blog to Warwickshire Wildlife Trust’s CEO Ed Green who promised one lunch time to join me on a training run. So over to Ed…..
“Early every Saturday morning I try and keep fit by lumbering across the fields behind my house in the company of a few friends and dogs. Perhaps that’s why I felt sufficiently ambitious to suggest that I keep our flying reserves manager, Karl Curtis, company on his training run today as he builds towards taking part in this year’s London Marathon.
Appropriately enough the car park at Brandon Marsh this lunchtime was full to capacity, and beyond. Dozens of families were here enjoying the sunshine, joining in Racing Rabbits or just getting a dose of nature and topping up on well-being. Those children – with families who can and will spend time and money on being part of wildlife in the outdoors – are the lucky ones. Unfortunately not all children get to do that, and that’s ultimately has motivated Karl to pick up his running shoes (second pair) and put one foot in front of another.
Very rapidly. Gliding effortlessly along he played the part of Americas Cup yacht and me the sea anchor. We crossed Brandon Lane and the railway line into Brandon Wood, looping behind the old farm and round the edges behind the houses of Binley Woods estate. All the names indicate the natural heritage of this part of Warwickshire is all tied with its ancient forests – soon we were passing Piles Coppice. That is owned by the Woodland Trust. For most of our run the ongoing work of the Friends of Brandon Wood was evident at every turn, thinning, chipping and clearing, making the wood a good site for wildlife and a wonderful retreat just beyond the gardens of the community next door. All partners in our Princethorpe Woodlands living landscape scheme.
Karl has secured a place in the marathon through the ballot and his sponsorship target will pay for the Trust to organise 36 sessions for children – one a week in term time over a whole year. These events will give children who are missing out on nature the sort of experience being enjoyed by the crowds at Brandon today, and just possibly start a lifelong affair with wildlife. So much so that – perhaps – they won’t think twice about setting off at lunchtime, in the sun for a run, walk or potter around their local patch.
Good luck Karl! Look out for the running day-glow top with badger logo on 24th April…”
Thanks Ed, it was a pleasure and from now on in my blog posts will be weekly up to the big day so do keep a look out. Next week I am visiting the beneficiaries of my fundraising and going to join in a session of outdoor education and discovery with the Trust’s education team so stay tuned.
To keep my motivation up, I would really appreciate your support. It will help me focus and keep me plodding the streets knowing all my effort will make a real difference. You can donate here and see how my fundraising effort is going so far! Thank you!
You can read the previous instalment of Karl’s marathon blog here