The run is over, and Simon completed his first half-marathon in 1:45:33, raising a little over £725.00. He was pleased with his performance as he had decided that 1:50 would be a viable target and 1:45 a desirable, but slightly optimistic, target. He was also very pleased that the generosity of Scratchpad readers and other members of the Oracle community that helped to lift the sum he raised to well over double his original target. Our thanks to anyone who donated. (There is still a little time to donate if you were thinking of doing so, the web address is still open.)
In his last year at school (high school for American readers) my son took part in a school trip to Malawi and Zambia. The first part of the trip was spent working with a local orphanage that his school supports, and the group had taken seven or eight bags of shoes, trainers, football kit, and books for the children. When they arrived at the orphanage they spent their time building some new fences and repainting classrooms and furniture.
Malawi and Zambia are in the malaria belt of Africa, but the school group had the benefit of some very expensive anti-malarial medication (several pounds/euros/dollars per tablet, taken daily), and always slept under mosquito nets; the children at the orphanage are not so lucky. Before he goes back to college in a couple of weeks my son will be trying to raise some money for mosquito nets.
I’m not really in favour of indulging in some pointless activity as a way of getting money off other people, but my son paid the £35.00 entry fee to see if he could complete the Royal Parks Foundation half-marathon course (13.1 miles / 21.1 Km) to raise the money. The charity is Christian Aid, but we believe their primary target for funds raised by this event is the supply of mosquito nets to Africa to reduce avoidable deaths.
His target is fairly modest, so if you happen to be in the mood any small donation will be appreciated – the moral support is more important than the amount. He’s collecting through the JustGiving website, which will accept Paypal as well as ordinary debit and credit cards, and there’s a field on the “Donate” page where you can enter any amount (in UK pounds) you like. If, on a typical weekday, every reader of this blog was able to donate the equivalent of one US dollar that would raise enough money to buy about 500 mosquito nets. [Update: it turns out - see comment 7 below - that the smallest amount the system will accept is 2 pounds (GBP)]
For reference, the current exchange rate (23rd Sept) is: 1 GBP = 1.63 USD = 1.25 EU