Claire Rennie, from the Isle of Wight has signed-up to take part in the Great South Run in Portsmouth this October. We checked-in with her to find out how she is coping with the training, and find out why she is so passionate about Born Free.
If you would like to undertake your own running challenge for Born Free, we’d love to have you as part of our Run Wild Team!
Contact Joanne Bartholomew for more information about the next steps.
Can you tell us a little bit about why you wanted to support Born Free with this challenge?

Like many, a pre-internet and social media childhood and limited TV meant a lot of reading.  My favourite books were Born Free, Living Free and Forever Free. They were absolutely captivating to me in a profound, visceral way. They connected. Many years later I read a newspaper article on Joy Adamson and stumbled upon Born Free. I read about the amazing multi-dimensional work that Born Free undertakes to keep wild animals prospering in the wild – and that prompted me to sign-up for a challenge in support of the charity. 
It breaks my heart to see and read of the destruction that humans have made and are continuing to make to habitats. The needless killing of wild animals – through sport, poaching, trade or any other reason is simply abhorrent and if we don’t work to change the situation in whatever way we can, who will? 

Do you have a favourite Born Free project or animal?

I love all animals – in the wild! I am impressed by the way that Born Free has a group of experts – both employees and volunteers – providing a comprehensive, targeted and integrated system of projects which help support not only the animals and habitats themselves, but also local communities. Born Free appears to look more deeply at primary, secondary and tertiary causes for the loss of habitats and needless killing and addresses those – practically, as well as campaigning on wider issues. 

You are going to be running 10 miles during the Great South Run, have you done anything similar before?

As a child I did annual 20-mile charity walks with my dog and as an adult I have completed a sponsored 20-mile walk for Breast Cancer Care with particular friends in mind. I enjoy running for my own fitness, pleasure and relaxation, but I did run a half marathon a few years ago. However, this is the first time I have decided to run for a charity and have deliberately chosen to support Born Free.

What has the reaction from your family and friends been like?

The reaction from friends, colleagues and family has been really positive. Long-standing friends have shown support and friends from my church group really support the cause and give me encouragement to keep training. I am a Maths teacher and this summer I will be leaving the school I’ve been at for three years and starting at a new school in September. Without meaning to be presumptuous, rather than a typical leaving gift I requested any gifts be sponsorship or donations towards Born Free. 

How has your training been going?

Training started really well. I am fortunate to live on the beautiful Isle of Wight and so there are great coastal and inland runs to enjoy… but you still have to put your shoes on and get out the door!

Unfortunately a recent bereavement combined with a demanding teaching term made training difficult. Recently I found out that a couple of colleagues have also signed up for the Great South Run, so that helps motivate me hugely. We have a WhatsApp chat group and there is constant banter on that. More recently I have had to hold back on the training as I’ve had a knee injury.  But that is getting better so I am getting back on track in preparation for the run on 20th October.  Knowing that I’ve signed up to run for Born Free means I’ll get around the Great South Run 10-mile course one way or another!

How can people support your fundraising?

If you would like to support my fundraising please visit and make a donation. Thank you, in advance!



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