Penguins run across Edinburgh
6.30am, an early start for a Sunday. It’s a cold, wet Edinburgh Spring day as I set off to Musselburgh Racetrack via the office to collect a large car load of stuff – a giant inflatable eco-pod (which looks awfully like an igloo), t-shirts, banners, leaflets and our favourite penguin outfits.
Today Friends of the Earth Scotland has ten runners in the Chris Hoy Edinburgh half marathon. Some, like Justin, are used to running. For others it was a bigger challenge. John Fellows, who has managed to raise £826, took it on as a personal challenge to loose weight and get fit before the birth of his baby. The Evening News loved the story, with a headline along the lines of “Edinburgh Man Stops Eating Pies to Run Marathon.’ Via a Facebook group John blogged his way through his training and encouraged lots of people to donate.
Pod inflated, the rain pours down. Not as many spectators as last year’s Edinburgh Marathon, when the sun was strong and people were out drinking beer – and looking at the charity stalls! At one and a half hours, we go over to the finish line to watch our first runners come in. A penguin masked Justin jogs in with new mate Owen, much to the delight of our marvellous Chris Hoy volunteer, Mirella – who happens to be Justin’s wife. My own husband was also persuaded to run (well, I wasn’t going to do it, so I got him to do it instead!) He is delighted to come in at just over two hours, having never run that distance before.
A bedraggled Louise donned in full penguin gear crosses the line and goes straight over to have a free massage, kindly supplied by Jodi Boyes. She stops off in front of the eco-pod to get her photo taken and to pick
up her FoES goody bag full of Lush stuff (and a membership leaflet that just happened to slip in).
Lunchtime comes and we’re all starving. Our runners have all come through now, some with chaffed skin, all soaking wet and with tired muscles. But they all made it and, at the last count (but the money is still coming in) have managed to raise £3000 between them. For a small charity like us, it really makes a difference – so thanks very much to all of you.
We’ve got spaces in the Edinburgh half marathon in 2011 and they are free for people who raise sponsorship for us – so register your interest today!