ITF were once again present at the annual Brighton Marathon on a beautifully sunny Sunday April 9th. This year we cheered on NHS development manager Isaac Barry from London, who was taking on a marathon for the first time and managed to raise £730 by the day of the race!
Speaking before race day, Isaac explained that he first began running short distances around a year ago with a friend, to increase his fitness. Both friends were approaching milestone birthdays in 2017 and wished to achieve something special before the day came. Having both studied in Brighton, it seemed an ideal location for their first marathon and when they came to look at buying places they realised that they could get the most from the event by running for charity.
Isaac, whose friend Rohan chose to run for the NSPCC, said: “I didn’t want to run for a big charity or for one that related to what I already do.” (As well as working for a mental health trust, Isaac also is studying for a Masters in human rights law). “I chose ITF because I have always had a passion for nature and loved trees. I visited the giant sequoia groves in California and saw those enormous trees – that’s one of the most fantastic things I’ve seen. I like that ITF is a small charity and one working hard to make a difference.”
Isaac and Rohan have been training for the race since January. Isaac explained: “I have enjoyed training but I think it’s difficult to feel prepared. Of course I haven’t run the full distance and can’t know how hard it’s going to be, it’s daunting doing something like this for the first time.”
Isaac collected his sponsorship via JustGiving, and exceeded his £500 target within 24 hours of setting up the page. When asked if he had any top fundraising tips for someone thinking of running a long-distance race for charity, he said “It’s best to have very generous friends, and keep reminding people! I have been really pleasantly surprised by how much people have given and it’s a strong motivator having the responsibility of people’s money backing me, not wanting to let them down.”
As for a top training tip Isaac simply said “go for it! Whatever you can do now can be the starting point for going on to do longer races or faster times.” He added: “Don’t be discouraged by the pain – running hurts! You have to get used to it (but do look after yourself).”
On the subject of a strategy for completing the race, Isaac said that other runners had advised him to always structure his progress, even if he needed to walk at some points. He also shared that he was determined in the hardest moments to remember what would motivate him: a wager between himself and his training partner Rohan (“my unattractive competitive streak!”), his upcoming birthday, and the responsibility of not disappointing his sponsors. “My mum and her partner are here in town to cheer me on as well,” he added.
The day of the marathon was hot and sunny, with blue skies and temperatures reaching 15 to 17 degrees, and the crowds along the course were buzzing with excitement. Isaac, who was aiming to complete the course in 4 and a half to 5 hours, managed an admirable 5 hours 7 minutes and crossed the finish line still running gamely! He afterwards described it as “a fantastic experience – but so hot!”
The £730 raised by Isaac will help ITF to continue its work promoting the protection and restoration of forests in Africa and the UK. ITF are immensely thankful to all our fundraisers and their sponsors. To find out more about fundraising for ITF email firstname.lastname@example.org.