Fundraising for Let Toys Be Toys by Running My Socks Off

What Is This We Have Here?

Me. Signed up to do a Half Marathon at Hampton Court Palace on March 29th 2015. And, with your help, raising funds for Let Toys Be Toys.

Please help get me over the finish line.
I will run like a gazelle.
I may even bellow like a gazelle (?)

Why Do A Half Marathon At All?

Well, quite. Excellent question. Let me think on that awhile.

Why Raise Funds for Let Toys Be Toys (LTBT)?

So. I work for a lovely, not-for-profit, specialist children’s booksellers called Letterbox Library. Like LTBT, we think toys and books should be for all children. But there are some corporations out there laughing at us all and taking our money whilst they lazily (and greedily) tell our boys and girls that some books/toys are only for boy or only for girls. Yawn. So, when Let Toys Be Toys launched their Let Books Be Books campaign (excuse the heady alliterations), Letterbox Library got behind it with great speed and happiness. More speed than you’ll find in these clumpy running feet, trust me.

I myself come from a background in the women’s and LGBT voluntary sector and I know how hard it can be to raise funds for campaigning work. Desperately hard. And, day job aside, I love what LTBT do. I mean LOVE. So, in a quiet moment, over my post festive eggnog, I thought I could perhaps bring my loves together: LTBT, running like a gazelle, entering competitions, shouting out “just give gender equality a chance, an itty bitty chance” and suchlike. So here I am.

 Why Do A Half Marathon At All?

I know, right? Why indeed? Well, I just thought I could have a running goal. And that I could then share that goal with you and that then maybe, just maybe, you could nudge me a few more steps along the way by supporting Let Toys Be Toys. It would work something like this: I raise £100 from you kind peeps and in return I promise to run at least a kilometre. Promise. For the non-metric amongst you a ½ marathon is 20km. Ouch! Just thought I’d slip that in there. So, yep I would be looking to get £2,000 from you in order for me to get over that finish line.

What Can You Except From Me?

I promise to run at least the distance you sponsor me to do and every single pound raised will go to the wonderful work of Let Toys Be Toys.

Just to clarify: I promise to run up to a max. of 20 km, right?
[Do not flog me beyond this distance please. I mean, you can, very politely, ask the dreaded “marathon” question- a polite version would be “would you ever kindly consider doing a marathon if I kindly gave LTBT, like, £1,000 in one go?”- but the M Question would need to be asked that politely].

What Can You NOT Expect?

A Run Bore. I will give small fascinating updates on the state of my training. Snippets of fascination. But I absolutely promise that there will be no talk of my tempo training, my interval training, my stride, my pace, my core strength, my cushiony trainers etc. Nope. Unless you ask…

A Martyr. I promise to you now that I will not mention my black toes, my gangrene, my friction burns, my blisters, my lower back pain throb, my ever so slightly twitchy left knee, my pain, pain, pain. Indeed there will be no mention of the state of my bits and bobs at all. Unless you ask…

A Gazelle. Do not expect me to run like a gazelle. I am a 45-year-old, heavy footed, shrimp-like person with a heady 30-fags-a-day habit behind me. When I joined my running club, my partner said she was “surprised”. Not as surprised as I was. And certainly not as surprised as my club members were. I notice, however, that they took the membership money. In competitive running I am, faithfully and without question, 5th from the back. But, I’m one of those good eggs who’ll give it a go. And I will wear most logo-fied t-shirts if pressed.

A Final Word (other than the fascinating snippety updates as per above)

I often think that had I been raised to think girls could be as physically active as boys, if the culture I was immersed in had celebrated and encouraged girls’ and women’s physical strength and capabilities, then running would be in my blood rather than where it is currently is- in one little toe. And when I look around now and see our culture so often reverting to an old-fashioned, restrictive and soul-destroying gendered marketing which limits the choices and opportunities of all our children, I just want to bellow. Furiously. Fiercely. But instead I am going to run and hopefully get some funds raised for the tireless and brilliant Let Toys Be Toys. And with your help, you never know. I might, just might, bellow as I step over the finish line.

Over To You

You can donate to Let Toys Be Toys by giving a good hard ‘click’ on the donate button below or on the left hand size of this page.

*Funding for the entirely volunteer-led Let Toys Be Toys goes towards things like: paying travel expenses for a LTBT volunteer to go and talk to a school or meet with a toy manufacturer; holding a stand at a public event; producing a leaflet to let people know about the #lettoysbetoys and #letbooksbebooks petitions. Do give as little as you are happy with or as much as you are happy with: £5, £10, £50, £100- any amount will make me giddy and will put a bounce in my step. But best of all, the campaigners at Let Toys Be Toys will feel buoyed up. Which, in my view, is the least they deserve.

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