Hi. My name’s Jim and in 2012, I am running 12 marathons to raise £12,000 for two charities, Scene and Heard and UNICEF.
The most common comment I get is “You’re mad! No, really – seek help.” And then I get asked why I’m doing it.
Well, speaking about UNICEF, I know that it does inspiring work every day, all around the world, to improve children’s lives, and that the scope of its impact is huge (delivering over 50% per cent of the WORLD’s vaccines for children). But what really prompted me was reading about the work UNICEF does in emergencies.
We seem to have had so many in recent years – the Haiti earthquake, floods in Pakistan, famine in East Africa – even now, in Niger, a new food crisis threatens to become a disaster. Each time, UNICEF has been there, coordinating efforts to provide clean water and sanitation, to fight malnutrition and try and relieve the desperate situation so many children find themselves in.
And all this is delivered with no support from the UN, which most people don’t realise. Every life saved is only because of the donations we can give them. So if running for a bit will help that happen, it doesn’t seem much.
My first marathon was in Walt Disney World in January and I managed to get round without collapsing in a heap at any point, so I’m hoping I can maintain that upright position throughout the next 11. People have been amazingly supportive so far, being really generous with their donations – even complete strangers who’ve just heard about it through a friend or on the web. But I’ve still got a long way to go.
Go to twelveathon.com to see what I’ve been doing so far and if you like it, please dig deep and sponsor me. Every penny helps inspire my knees to keep working.
Jim Paterson is the Web and Resources Editor for UNICEF's Baby Friendly Initiative.