Two weeks ago I had a phone call from Tom Williams, of Marathon Talk Podcast. I have met Tom before at the Nottingham Marathon aid station and had been in touch electronically since the start of the podcast.
Earlier that day Tom had been contacted by Noel Thatcher MBE whose wife is Japanese and he himself has many ties with Japan. The Tsunami and the destruction it has caused in Japan had caused Noel to question whether there was anything that could be done. At that point an idea was born between Tom and Noel – let’s use the power of running and it’s community to raise awareness and funds for Japan.
The concept is simple – you donate a run to Japan and you sponsor unit for unit that distance, eg you run 10miles you log it on http://RunForJapan.com and you donate £10/10$ etc.
After initial reservation from me regarding the logistics of the site and the difficulty getting something done so quickly, within a day a website was designed, created and fully functional. The website allowed users to upload a photo of themselves (preferably running) and has a collage of all runners involved.
The campaign got off to quite the best start possible. Paula Radcliffe was the first donator. WOW. I put this down to Martin Yelling (also involved with Marathon Talk) and his wife being lifetime friends of Paula as Liz and her trained at the same club as children.
Needless to say my evenings were long and late fixing bugs, working live on a site that was getting respectable traffic. As I write this post two weeks after it started we have raised £15,800 been mentioned by Mike Bushell on the BBC, tweeted about by Jenson Button, donated to by Chrissie Wellington etcetcetc. It’s been mental and im glad to have been involved. Noel is understandably absolutely elated and let’s hope the campaign carries on over the next few weeks pushing out to new runners across the world.