Sunday, 21 April 2024
Sunday, 21 April 2024

Mum inspires son’s debut marathon for ShelterBox

A man from Putney is lacing up his running shoes for 26.2 miles to raise funds and awareness for the international disaster relief charity, ShelterBox.   

Determined to set himself a physical challenge for 2024 and to give something back, self-professed running newbie, Dan Page is taking on the Brighton marathon in April. He’s raising crucial funds for people around the world who have been left without shelter after disaster and conflict.   

The 26-year-old, tech sales agent, decided that taking on the marathon for a worthy cause would be all the motivation he needs to complete the race.  

Dan said:

“I promised myself I’d tackle a physical challenge this year and when my mum told me ShelterBox had marathon places, I figured I’d go for it!    

“My training started back in December and it’s the first time I’ve properly given running a go. I’ve always done strength training but not much cardio, so it really is a challenge for me, both physically and mentally.   

“Having never run before, I haven’t really given myself much time to train for a full marathon in only four months, but it’s going well. Despite the weather not always being on my side, and training through the hardest months, I’m happy with where I’m at and I’m on track to hit around the four-hour mark. Plus, doing it for ShelterBox, knowing my fundraising will make a difference to people in terrible situations, gives me all the motivation I need.”   

ShelterBox provides emergency shelter and aid items like cooking sets, solar lights, and water filters to people who have been uprooted from their homes and left with very little due to conflict or disaster. No two disasters are the same and neither are the charity’s responses. It tailors each aid package, listening to communities, and providing the emergency shelter aid that is most needed.   

The charity has 12 active responses, including a response in Gaza to support some of the 1.9 million people uprooted from their homes. ShelterBox is working with partner organisations to provide tents and other essential items, like tarpaulins and rope, to thousands of people in Gaza. It’s launched an urgent appeal to help fund its response.   

Dan continued:

“My mum, Debbie, has been a supporter and volunteer for ShelterBox for several years and has been part of many fundraising events in her local area. She is my inspiration for doing this. I decided it was my turn to play my part for a charity close to my heart.  

“The work ShelterBox does around the world is incredibly important and it’s the practical approach to humanitarian support and the tangibility of the aid that makes it a standout charity. You can see where your money goes. If I hit my £600 target, this could help to provide a tent for a family (£425), a shelter tool kit for a community (£130) and a water filter to provide clean drinking water in disasters where water is scarce or contaminated (£60).   

“I’m looking forward to my run and I hope I reach my fundraising target!”  

This year’s Brighton marathon will be held on Sunday 7 April and for the first time since the race was held, a new route has been unveiled. The new improved circuit will still take runners past the city-centre highlights from previous years, but now involves an extra loop of the seafront and passes through neighbourhoods that come out to celebrate and cheer on the runners each year.   

Support has already started pouring in from Dan’s family and friends, including his Granny and Grandad. Anyone wishing to follow Dan’s training progress or donate to his marathon fundraiser can do so via his JustGiving page. 

Louisa Arnold, community fundraising officer at ShelterBox, said:

“This is the first time we’ve had places for the Brighton Marathon, and it makes it more exciting that it will be the first year of the new course. Dan’s grit and determination to take on 26.2 miles having never run is so inspiring, and we’re thrilled that he’ll be running his debut marathon for us. We are so grateful for his support.  

“We rely on public donations to fund our responses around the world, so it’s people like Dan, who put their time and effort into fundraising for us, that make our work possible.”  

ShelterBox is also supporting people affected by disasters in places like Cameroon, Ethiopia, Yemen, Pakistan, Malawi, and Chad.    

For anyone interested in a last-minute entry for the Brighton marathon in aid of ShelterBox, they can email hello@shelterbox.org. The charity is asking people for a minimum fundraising commitment of £600. 

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