Daddy Dave Does A Runner!

bat-girlMarathon Running & School Places

It’s tipping down with rain. I’m cold, wet and exhausted, but I’ve just completed another 20 mile run as part of my training for the London marathon this year. I’m trying to raise as much money as possible for the charity VSO (more about that later).

I’ve always said I’d run the marathon before I turn 40 and the years have been disappearing faster than I’d like … so it was pretty much now or never! When I registered for the marathon it was all quite clear in my mind – training runs 3 or 4 days a week for as long as possible and nothing would stop me on the big day. The one thing I hadn’t factored in was training after a day of looking after Amelie. Tiredness and illness have been my biggest foes in my training attempts.

These last few months Amelie has been a bundle of energy – she is on the go all day and wants me to be involved in everything she does (including pretending to be the Joker while she is chasing me dressed as Batman!). I’m sure I never used to feel this tired after a day of looking after her, and by the time she is in bed the last thing I feel like doing is dragging myself of the sofa and going for a long run, but somehow I have forced myself to do it. Illness has also been a struggle at times. Amelie and I always seem to take turns being ill and neither of us are good patients. I’ve lost a few weeks of training to the dreaded flu! Despite all these grumbles, I’ve actually found the training a good experience, and have definitely noticed a gradual improvement in my running times. If only I was better at healthy eating, my times might improve even more … at least I’ve managed to just about stay off the beer!

Next week we find out which primary school Amelie will be attending from September. It seems a long time since we did all the school visits and completed the application forms. Amelie is itching to go to school and doesn’t stop asking when she is going to start … during a day of tears and tantrums I sometimes can’t wait for her to start too! When I think about it some days she seems so grown up and ready for school and then other days I think she’s still my little baby and not ready yet.

Choosing which school is always a difficult decision, but at the end of the day we are so lucky to be in a position where we have a number of good local schools to choose from. Many of us take basic things such as education for granted, but for millions they are just a dream. Millions around the world are missing out because of a lack of properly trained teachers, or by being excluded from classrooms simply because of who they are. In Rwanda, a whole generation of teachers has been lost as a result of the genocide.

This brings me back to why I’m running the marathon for VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas) – a great charity focused on fighting poverty and reducing inequality by sending volunteers from various professions to help transform the lives of people in some of the poorest communities in the world.

Hopefully I can raise as much as possible for VSO and I’m looking to get as much of the Hersham community involved as possible. I would be so grateful for anyone who can donate.

Please take a minute to sponsor me. Every pound raised will go a long way – for example, £25 pays for an education volunteer to help girls stay in school. https://www.justgiving.com/David-Clarke40

Thinking about how much Amelie wants to learn and how much happiness it brings her when she masters something new and then to think of all the children around the world who don’t get to experience learning will definitely give me the motivation to get to the finish line on Sunday 24th April.

Something to watch and read

Watch a short film about a VSO education project in Rwanda https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O01b9lsWh_I&list=PL0QYfL_PgevR8v_LgakFN8eXu8yUhR-dG&index=8

Learn more about VSO: https://www.vsointernational.org

Something to do this week

Go for a run and then sponsor me!

You can do this online by visiting my fundraising page: https://www.justgiving.com/David-Clarke40

Or by texting VSOD77 £5 / £10 to 70070

Amelie’s quote of the week

Amelie – “Daddy, you know your running race”

Me – “Yes”

Amelie – “I’m not going to come to watch unless you win”

Me – “Mmm, I’ll try my best!”

Amelie – “Just win Daddy!!!” (Then stomps off!)
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