CAFOD Portsmouth at the 2014 Virgin London Marathon

As we begin the New Year, many of us are thinking about what we’d like to achieve over the coming 12 months, and how we can make a positive impact in our own lives and in the lives of others. If your New Year’s resolution is to get fit and fundraise for CAFOD then you may have already signed up to run with Team CAFOD in the Virgin London Marathon 2014!

This year, our friend, Mugeni Sumba, who as many of you know works at Oaklands Catholic Secondary School in Waterlooville, will be running the London Marathon in aid of CAFOD.

Although Mugeni has completed the Great South Run for CAFOD many times, it’s his first time running the London Marathon, but it’s always something that he has wanted to do.

“I have always admired the work of CAFOD and also have always thought of running the Marathon ever since I first saw it on TV in the spring of 1998! It is one of the things I said I wanted to do before I was 40. So, I am doing it as a 40th birthday wish!”

Despite taking part in the Great South Run in October last year, Mugeni has suffered a setback in his training due to injury, something he said has been one of the most challenging elements of his marathon journey so far.

“The hardest part has definitely been not being able to train! I really wanted to make sure that I was in good shape so that I could post a good time. But then again…I really think that the hardest part is not being able to do all I can to support the drive to end poverty and improve people’s lives.

“I am battling with my body to get in shape to be able to run yet there are millions who are struggling to find food to eat or feed their children. But then, you could say that at least I am ready to fight for them. I hope that people will be able to sponsor me so that I can at least achieve my goal in part – to make a difference in someone’s life!”

The build up to the big day is full of both physical and emotional challenges, but the sense of achievement at crossing the finish line is something that all marathon runners look forward to.

Mugeni said that he’s most looking forward to “putting on the CAFOD running vest, joining the 1000s of people that will be running on the London streets and really enjoying the experience. For me, this will be a dream come true – taking part in one of the events I have always dreamt of, for my favourite organisation”.

Mugeni gave this advice to CAFOD supporters who are thinking about running next year:

“Definitely go for it! Think about the difference it will make in someone’s life, the fact that you are making the world a better place and bringing about the Kingdom of God. It is not by chance that CAFOD’s motto is ‘Putting faith into action’. It makes me feel better knowing that I am taking part in God’s fight against injustice and poverty, oppression and exploitation when I take part in such an event to raise money for CAFOD. And yes, I know that I am also getting something back from all the training and taking part in such a big event – I become a healthier person”.

Many supporters will line the route to watch family and friends take part, but there will also be a huge television audience tuning in to watch the race live. Mugeni told us how the popularity of the London Marathon made it a good way to raise money for CAFOD.

“I think it is because it is a very high profile event. Many people know about it and will probably watch it on TV. So when I am asking for sponsorship, people already know the event and how hard it is so there is no need for me to explain much about the event – but rather I can just focus on why I am doing it, my goals and purpose.”

If you would like to support Mugeni and CAFOD you can donate to his Just Giving page here.

Last year, CAFOD supporter Robert Corry represented CAFOD Portsmouth at the Virgin London Marathon. He raised an incredible £2,615.46 for CAFOD after completing the run in just over 4 hours.

We followed Robert’s journey in 2013 and you can read about his preparations for the 2012 Virgin London Marathon in more detail here.

CAFOD has now filled its marathon team, but we are operating a waiting list in case any of our runners have to withdraw. Please complete our application form (which can be downloaded from here) to be in with a chance of joining Team CAFOD in April.

If you already have your own place in the London Marathon but would like to run for CAFOD – don’t worry!  Even if you’ve won a place independently, you can still become part of Team CAFOD! Find out more here.

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