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?
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.
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.
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.
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!
If you would like to support my fundraising please visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/claire-m-rennie and make a donation. Thank you, in advance!