Thank you so much to all our terrific Great South Runners who took to the streets of Portsmouth on Sunday and ran a whopping 10 miles to raise money for our work overseas! You are all awesome!!
We were really blessed on Sunday to have good weather and great support from 13 runners from all over the Portsmouth diocese as well as the dioceses of Westminster, Brentwood and Arundel and Brighton too!!! Thank you everyone!
It was lovely to see our friend Deirdre MacMahon (CAFOD Diocesan Officer for Arundel & Brighton). It was her first time on the run and she was pretty speedy too! She also raised just over £1000!!! Way to go Deirdre!
And great to see Kevin again! Kevin Lawler’s run the Great South Run every year since I’ve been working for CAFOD (and that’s 8 years folks!) We both remember the days of the charity tent!
Terry MacMahon joined us for his second run all the way from the Ilford in the Brentwood diocese and has raised between £400-£500. He told us,
‘The race conditions this year were just about perfect. I’m not a runner so having good weather really made the difference. My wife and 3 children were cheering me on back at home in Ilford, along with extended family and friends.
‘I did enjoy last year and promised to have another go this year. Last year was a mix of running and walking so this year my goal was to run the whole way which thank God I managed. I chose CAFOD again as the ‘Just One World’ sentiment is one that fits so well with the meaning of ‘catholic’ as universal and it’s a motto that governs so much of my life.
‘I certainly will be back next and will certainly run for CAFOD!’ Thanks Terry!
Our ‘two Mikes’ were back too and they are real veteran Great South runners – making this their 8th run! Mike Wood is a teacher at St Peter’s in Bournemouth and Mike Keogh is a teacher of engineering at City College in Southampton.
Mike Wood (on the left) told me,
‘The whole atmosphere was great! The bands were fantastic along the way and the drummers were awesome! There were even families doing karaoke in their front gardens with music booming out of speakers as we passed! ‘
‘All my family and friends were at the Cathedral cheering us on. We’ve raised about £600 with lot of sponsorship form colleagues, friends and our very supportive parish (St Boniface in Southampton). They’ve all been excellent.
‘I think it’s really important to raise money for CAFOD’s work but also to raise awareness about what we do to bring about a fairer world, one that celebrates our similarities rather than focuses on what divides us.’
Bea Narine ran her first race with us this Sunday! Bea told me that her parish at Corpus Christi parish in Boscombe have been super supportive in helping her raise funds as well as her school (Bournemouth Collegiate Prep).
Bea made it round in an impressive 1:38 and raised £270! Fantastic! Her work colleagues helped her by holding a ‘Fizzy Raffle’ whereby the person who guessed her time round would win some fab fizzy wine! I wonder who came closest?
Helen Barnett ran in memory of her dearly beloved Mother – Joyce Grimes who died 4 years ago this month. She told us;
‘Mum was always holding coffee mornings, plant sales etc in the parish raising funds for CAFOD and she is our inspiration!’ Thank you so much Helen! I saw on your justgiving site that you have exceeded your target on there and raised £615! How brilliant!
And last but by no means least, we were just so pleased to see Catherine Smith again this year, with her son Marcus! What stars! And they finished within 3 seconds of one another!
Catherine underwent surgery for breast cancer in May and still faces further surgery. However, she said that her recovery so far and her determination to ‘get on with life’ meant that she felt more than ready for the race this year. Her son Marcus, who is also celebrating a return to sport, after a serious knee operation almost ended his ambition to become a professional basketball player.
Catherine said: “It’s brilliant Marcus and I were able to race together when neither of us thought we would be able to do it until just last month. I’ve always been a runner and the Great South Run has been a real goal for me during my recovery. It’s been a tough year but I think that despite what life throws at you it’s important to be resilient and remain positive – this is what helps you overcome the difficult moments.
“I also think it’s important to fundraise and give something back. Doing something for others makes your efforts so much more valuable and meaningful. CAFOD is a great charity that makes a real difference to people’s lives overseas and I’m glad I’m able to support them in this way.”
On the day, mother and son made their best time ever! One hour and 18 minutes! And they were within 3 seconds of one another! Extraordinary! They hope to have raised £500 through all the fab support they’ve had from family, friends and their parish, St Michael’s in Waterside (Helen’s parish too).
Thank you everyone! It was just an honour and a privilege to meet you all again in person and cheer you on as you raced by! Thank you for all the time you’ve put into your training and fundraising! Much appreciated by us all! And life changing for our partners overseas! Thank you all!
(There’s still time to sponsor them folks if you can! Just click on the links above which all take you to their individual justgiving sites! Thank you!)