Celebrating our anniversary at the Great South Run!

The Great South Run in Portsmouth last Sunday was indeed a fantastic celebration of our anniversary!
Taking into account the Mini and Junior runners who took part on Saturday as well, we had an overall “team CAFOD” of about 60 people, which not only met but even exceeded our expectations to have at least one runner for each year of CAFOD’s “history”!

We also had our first runner ever taking part in the 5km race on Saturday morning, Laurence Davighi from London, who is currently participating in the “Step into the Gap” programme in the Arundel and Brigthon diocese. Here’s what he had to say about the experience!

On Sunday, though the skies were grey, the wind eased a bit since the previous day, so the weather was pretty good for running overall. Once again we welcomed our team at the Royal Beach Hotel – a location everybody appreciated, not least as it provided a warm place to rest after the running effort – accompanied by free massage and a good cuppa!

Our fantastic “flag promoter” Mrs Phillips!

There was a great mix of runners this year, from many parts of the diocese, some of them “veterans” of the Great South Run and others who took the challenge for the first time, inspired by our “50 years 50 runners” slogan!

We had quite a few “teams” which was great – the biggest was definitely represented by Oaklands Catholic Secondary School in Waterlooville: a grand total of 6 students, 5 teachers + 2 parishioners from Sacred Heart parish came along, in a fantastic team effort! Altogether they have already raised over £2,000 and the money is still coming in! Well done to them all!

We also had “Fr Paul ‘n his crew” from Leigh Park – Fr Paul being no stranger, as you know, to taking on challenges in aid of CAFOD. This year he has persuaded 4 parishioners to join him in the race and they all did really well!

Bishop Challoner Secondary School in Basingstoke also put together a team, made up of Headteacher Tony Corish, language teacher Lucile Le Royer and retired teacher David Letherby:

From Basingstoke also came Fr Mark Hogan, parish priest at St Joseph’s and great CAFOD fundraiser, parishioner Kevin Eley (who was encouraged by Fr Mark to take part) and Sarah Wooster.

A team of 4 (Mike-Mike-Mike and Matthew!) came from St Boniface parish in Southampton, comprising of our long-term volunteer and parish contact Mike Willcox, Great South Run “veteran” Michael Woods (teacher at St Peter’s school in Bournemouth), Michael Keogh, teacher at Southampton college, and his son Matt Keogh, student and lifeguard. Here’s what they had to say!

Rebecca from Romsey ran for the second time in a row as she was keen to celebrate our anniversary – many thanks Rebecca!

And Fr Richard Maniak from English Martyrs parish in Reading swapped the pulpit for the race course!

Fr Richard from Reading

Headteacher Maggie Sanderson from St Thomas of Canterbury school in Newport, Isle of Wight, took part for the first time and set the children the challenge of collecting 10lbs of pennies to match the 10 miles of the race. They had already collected 4lbs at their first weight in before the race, which is great! Thanks Margaret!

Headteacher Margaret Sanderson from St Thomas of Canterbury, IoW

The list of runners is still long, each one with a very special story to tell. Though we are unable to mention every single one, we really wanted to express our heartfelt thanks for all your efforts and enthusiasm and for taking part in this wonderful celebration of 50 years of CAFOD’s work. You all had an important part to play indeed!

We really enjoyed the day and welcoming you all and we hope to see many of you back again next year! Thank you so much and hope you all had a really good rest on Sunday evening!

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