I have exciting news. (Let’s pretend the title hasn’t given it away already…
So, you know I had signed up to run Brighton Marathon next April for the RSPCA? Which, lets face it, was pretty high on the excitement scale anyway. Well, I had also entered the ballot for the London Marathon…
…No, I didn’t get in. The rejection mag landed in my letterbox as predicted.
But what I did get was a very exciting phone call from the super lovely team at the RSPCA asking if perhaps I would consider the London Marathon for them instead of Brighton. I pretended to consider it for all of about 30 seconds before declaring rather excitedly that yes, yes I would, and please don’t change your minds thank you very much please.
Fortunately, they didn’t change their minds and I will indeed be running the London Marathon 2017 as part of the amazing #TeamAnimal.
I know a lot of runners who don’t like the idea of taking up a charity place, or fundraising on a ballot place, and I totally get it; the idea of raising money can be really daunting. But how often in my life do I do something that’s worthy of being sponsored for? The stat that’s banded around a lot is that only 1% of the population will ever run a marathon – so it’s something to be celebrated, respected and definitely worth people digging deep for. I mean, they’ll probably just be relieved that it’s not them who has to run a stupidly long way.
So why the RSPCA? Well, it’s a charity that’s been close to my heart since I was as young as 3 – when my first cat came into my life in the shape of an RSPCA rescue tabby called Amber. He lived with us until the grand old age of 18 and I have since had two more pet cats – both adopted from the charity. No pet owner needs to be told the value of having an animal in your life, and I’m a very strong advocate of adopting animals in need rather than buying them. I was also an active member of the Junior RSPCA squad as a kid, and was about as animal obsessed as you can get.
With the charity being so high on my radar and it being such a well recognised name, I was really surprised to find out that they are often overlooked when it comes to people fundraising for them at running events, which made me more determined than ever to highlight their work and raise as much money as I can.
Their mission statement really struck a chord with me:
‘The RSPCA as a charity will, by all lawful means, prevent cruelty, promote kindness to and alleviate suffering of all animals’
And by ‘all animals’ they really do mean all animals – it isn’t just pets that they aim to help, it’s farm animals, wild animals, and those used in testing and research. That’s an awful lot of animals and an awful lot of money needed to keep it going. The amount of money I’m aiming to raise seems like a lot, but compared to how much money the charity needs to keep on doing the amazing work it does, it’s a drop in the ocean.
With that in mind I would urge anyone who is considering running a marathon – or any running event – to consider looking at the RSPCA charity places (they currently have places available for London Marathon, Brighton Marathon and the Great North Run) or using your ballot place (you lucky devils you) to raise funds as part of Team Animal.
If you need any more convincing, the team are SO incredibly supportive and friendly, and they’ll help you every step of the way with the fundraising and training. Most importantly, the training top is really flattering…
Have a glance at this page – it’ll tell you all you need to know.
And whilst you’re in a generous frame of mind, take a look at my JustGiving page too and see if you could spare a few pennies towards the cause. I would be so grateful, and whilst I’m currently planning on running the marathon with cat whiskers painted on, that costume could get more elaborate the more money that’s raised…
I’ll be keeping you updated on my training, but for now here are some more cute pictures of my cats.