Charity runner's New Year's resolution to run 2,012k in 2012
It's the time of year when most of us resolve to lose weight, quit smoking, or get back into the gym, but one Swansea man has made a resolution that he hopes will make a difference to thousands of people around the world.
Chris Marshall (40), from Pontarddulais, has resolved to run a minimum of 2,012 kilometres (1,250 miles) over the next twelve months, with the aim of raising £12,000 to provide 12 clean water wells in 12 of the world's poorest countries.
Nearly one billion people don't have access to something as fundamentally important to good health as clean water. What water they do have is often contaminated and makes them sick, and unable to work or study – which in turn makes it harder to break free from poverty. One in five deaths of children under five is caused by dirty, diseased water.
Chris, who works in the Marketing Department at Swansea University, will be raising funds for Penny Appeal, a UK-based charity that has supported the Haiti earthquake relief effort, and has delivered tonnes of aid to those left with nothing after the Pakistan floods. Penny Appeal has also established wells, built homes, and sponsored education for one hundred orphans.
Chris said: "I can't imagine expecting my friends, family or children to drink water that they've collected from a muddy puddle, or from a stream that also serves as a sewage outflow, or from stagnant pools that carry cholera.
"I'm hoping that, through the Run2012 challenge, I'll be able to help Penny Appeal to provide access to clean water to communities in countries such as Afghanistan and Albania, Bangladesh and Burma, and Senegal and Somalia.
"I'm not a seasoned runner, although I do run quite regularly and I have completed a couple of 10k races. Even so, I'll have to run an average of approximately 38 kilometres (24 miles) a week if I am to reach my target of 2,012 kilometres in 2012."
Chris plans to take part in several organised events during the course of the year, including the Llanelli and Swansea 10k races, the Llanelli half-marathon, and the Wales half-marathon. He has also entered the Berlin marathon, which takes place in September, and which will be his first full marathon.
Further details of the Run2012 challenge can be found on the website at: www.run2012.org.uk
MONDAY 2 JAN 2012