Charity Wednesday: Gary Runs for the Pembury Special Care Baby Unit

I am pretty lucky.  As a wide-sweeping generalisation, the people in my office are into health and fitness.  I don’t need to look far (literally just across a computer screen) to find duathletes and folks training for triathlons.  The office is full of runners, the Three Peaks Challenge is a regular occurrence, and there are CAT2 cyclists on the other side of the floor.  We even get a steady flow of event entry info on the common emails and sometimes a bit of bike porn creeps into the mix too!

Recently a good friend of mine and colleague, Gary, sent around an email about his upcoming run.  On Saturday the 27th of March, Gary is running the Coniston 14 (which is 17 this year due to floods taking out a key bridge) – a 17 mile run around Coniston Lake.  Gary is running the Coniston to raise funds for the Pembury Special Care Baby Unit.

When I started working for my company in 2004, Gary was the guy who helped me to feel welcome.  In 2005, we jointly managed a fantasy football team.  And in 2006 I managed my own fantasy football team and took great pleasure from beating him in the office tables.  Gary is married to Cat, another wonderful colleague of mine, and in 2009 they had their little baby girl Ellen.  Ellen had breathing troubles at birth, and had specialist care for the two weeks after she was born.

Gary is running 17 miles for Ellen and for the unit that helped her after she was born.  I think it is so great that Gary is doing this race for her, and of course I love to see others suffer in their training (just joking Gary!).  I asked him the usual set of questions for my Charity Wednesday blog interview.  You may find his answers short, but I know that your well wishes and support will help him on this longer than expected run.  Please join me in wishing him well and supporting this great cause.

Good luck Gary!

Pictured: Gary, Cat, and Ellen

DD: Running around Lake Coniston – how did you choose this run?

GM:  A friend persuaded me to do this run last year, and I enjoyed it, so we signed up for another run this year!

DD: Which charity are you running for?

The Maidstone & Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust Charitable Fund which will be allocating all of the money raised to the Special Care Baby Unit at Pembury Hospital

DD: Is this your first time running for charity?

No. I raised money for the RNLI a few years ago.

DD: How much are you aiming to raise?

As much as I can.

(Note:  It is awesome that Gary has raised over £2500 pounds already!!)

DD: For those interested in showing their support to you, how can they do so?

We really appreciate any donation. Please use the following link to Just Giving

DD: For those interested in charity fundraising, so you have any tips that you could share?

Be clear about why you are raising money and who will receive the money donated.

DD: And finally, what runs through your head during the tough training moments? Any particular song, mantra, or motivating thought you could share with us?

How fantastic the staff at Pembury were, both for my daughter Ellen and Catherine, my wife.

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