As the New Year arrives and we start to look at CAFOD events coming up in the Spring, CAFOD supporter Peter Byrne tells us why he ran the Brighton Marathon last year, and this year it could be you running for Team CAFOD!
The reason I ran the Brighton Marathon was because of my nephew, Ciaran, who ran it with me. He had rung me up and was upset. He was due to run the Paris Marathon with his running club but discovered he was too young. When he phoned me he asked me if I would run a marathon in the UK with me.I enthusiastically said ‘yes’ thinking it was seven months away. Immediately, CAFOD was the obvious choice for us. As a charity, CAFOD makes me feel proud to be a Catholic, so running the marathon became a great way to raise some money for them.What I hadn’t expected was the level of support I would receive from them in the months leading up to the marathon. This included great ideas to raise money, ready-made sponsorship forms and a weekly email giving me great training tips and advice. We were also given our CAFOD runner vests which Ciaran and I dressed up in the night before in a fit of pre-race excitement. I have kept this and use for all other races. It has become a chance to raise awareness about what CAFOD is and the work they do.Leading up to the event I made sure I put some long runs in and entered two half marathons which really helped. As can be the case for manyt runners, I wasn’t as prepared as I had hoped but this didn’t matter. I knew I was part of something that was bigger than me and that I was raising money for a great cause.
The marathon itself was amazing. The excitement began on the train, which was packed with runners all heading for the same place. Everything was so well organised at Preston Park and we were able to drop our bags off and by some magic they ended up at the finish line. The conditions were brilliant: cool at the start but got warmer towards the end of the race. The support was amazing and I can honestly say I was cheered all the way around the course. Similarly, three members of CAFOD were there and cheered us on at various points in the race. They also met us at the end and interviewed us and took photos.
Despite being 34 and a parent, I felt so proud and knew I had achieved something really important. In fact I still use my CAFOD photo as my profile picture on facebook. It captures what was a fantastic day and what is still one of my favourite memories.
If you are even considering running the Brighton marathon for CAFOD, I have one piece of advice: Do it, it will be an amazing experience that you won’t regret. In fact, I am confident it will be one that you will treasure for the rest of your life.
The Brighton Marathon is on 6 April 2014 and CAFOD has places for you! Email the events team at firstname.lastname@example.org or ring the events team on 020 7095 5329.