Monday, 23 July 2007

Running for Peace by Virginia

I took up running again 3 years ago after a long break from the sport. At the time we were living in FoR's former home in Clopton, Northamptonshire, and one of our nearest neighbours was the US base of Molesworth, a key intelligence gathering centre for the US military. I used to see Molesworth on my runs and so my running often became a meditation and a prayer for peace. It was also then that I had the idea of running to raise funds for peace projects. In September 2004 I did a 5K run for CAAT, and I applied to the London Marathon in the hope of doing the same for FoR. I didn't get a place so did that event on behalf of another charity, but the idea has stayed with me. My Marathon experience was a bit of a struggle as I succumbed a lot to injury and colds. So for the last two years I have been concentrating on doing shorter runs and building up my muscle strength.

This September I have decided to try a longer run again and I have entered the New Forest Half Marathon, which takes place on the 16th September 2007. And I have decided to take the opportunity to raise funds for international peacemakers at the same time. Since 2005, the Fellowship of Reconciliation has been raising money on behalf of peacemakers working to find alternative solutions to violence, often in the most difficult conflicts. The International Peacemakers Fund
supports the work of the Wi'am community that provides conflict resolution in Palestine, the Peace Community of San Jose de Apartado in Colombia which promotes peace amidst extraordinary violence from state and guerilla forces, as well as projects in Sudan, Zimbabwe and Uganda. I am hoping to raise £500 for the fund which will go directly to the projects supported.

If you are interested in supporting this effort, you can do so in two ways. The first is the obvious one to sponsor me, and I hope to have a link to my fundraising website shortly. The second is to keep me in your thoughts and prayers. Training for a long distance event is hard work, particularly when your body doesn't always do what you want it to do. It always helps to know people are thinking of me.

Thanks for the support, I'll keep you posted as to how I get on, starting with my next post.