On 23rd April 2017 I will be running the London Marathon on behalf of the Inland Waterways Association (IWA), with all money raised going to their Waterway Recovery Group. IWA is the leading membership charity dedicated to protecting and restoring Britain’s network of canal and river waterways. Their Waterway Recovery Group (WRG) provides practical and technical support to waterways restoration projects across the country and runs Canal Camp restoration working holidays, as well as providing skills training for volunteers.
Over the past ten years WRG and the Friends of the Cromford Canal have worked together along with Derbyshire County Council to restore sections of the canal and carry out regular weekend removal of reeds from the canal bed as part of the routine maintenance necessary to maintain this man-made structure.
As someone who grew up in south London and who has sat and watched the marathon every year since its inauguration in 1981, it has been on my “bucket list”, but after five unsuccessful entries a call from the IWA offering me a charity place is like a dream come true. Since 1999 I have lived next to the Cromford Canal in Whatstandwell and am a keen supporter for its restoration. For a period I was chair of the trustees for the FCC until I had to pass on the baton due to work commitments. Back in my university days I learned my trade as a civil engineer at Lea Shaw Farm.
This will not be my first marathon, I’ve completed six now – three when I was a very young man and another three in my late 30s/early 40s. After the last one I vowed never to run another, but my memory has forgotten the pain (and training injuries) so at 51we do it all over again!
So now the hard work begins – both in training and fundraising, with a target of £2000 to raise over the next few months. If you feel able I would welcome your support, so please help! Through Virgin Money Giving, you can sponsor me and donations will be quickly processed and passed to the IWA. Virgin Money Giving is a not-for-profit organisation and will claim Gift Aid on a charity’s behalf where the donor is eligible for this. I really appreciate all your support and thank you for any donations.