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Neil Foster

Neil Foster

2020 Virgin Money London Marathon


Total raised so far£0.00

Total plus Gift Aid: £0.00


Raised offline: £0.00

My story

[p]It's hard to imagine the London Marathon in "normal" years and what it must have been like to feed off the energy of 45,000 other runners and many more supporters. For perspective, this is 10x the population of St Helena; a mile separating the Island from London for every person here (4500).[/p][p]Thanks to the London Marathon 40th anniversary "your way" format, I'm lucky to have creative license as a first time participant: joining forces with UK-based Aerobility and St Helena-based SHAPE, charity organizations set up to help individuals with disability find their wings and fly, both literally and metaphorically. Together, we will make a first internationally-recognized run through a tough but beautiful course possible.[/p][p]Without a crowded field of runners it will be a solo participant this time, fueled by the support of Shape members, with encouragement, water, and nourishment through the ups and downs of the journey. In this case, it will be the disabled with much to give, supporting the runner's potential on his otherwise lonely journey of ups and downs.[/p][p]Known for its lonely isolation in the South Atlantic and unfortunate reputation as a place of exile for Napoleon Bonaparte, there is dream-like beauty and diversity to St Helena's 47 square miles for those willing to get past the hard outer shell. Until recently, only the forbidding fortress of dark cliffs peppered with cannons made up the first impressions seen from every approaching ship. [/p][p]A new era began for St Helena with the opening of an airport in 2016, and while there are still patches of the turbulence of change to overcome, the softer beauty of the island is now on full display from overhead. The beauty has been here all along, seen now immediately from a new vantage point.[/p][p]The 42.2km course is a new one, crossing the Island through road and trail, spanning sea-level elevation to the summit of Diana's Peak 820m above, through lush forests, emerald-green country meadows, forbidding deserts, and abundant flax fields. The finish line will greet me near the seaside. At nearly the midpoint, a full traverse of the airport runway will take place, a symbolic connecting point to the world of possibility, and a place with smooth terrain and clear horizons where flight is possible and dreams realized.[/p][p]I want to make a special mention to two childhood friends of mine, brothers, born with hearing impairment. From this early encounter with people living with disabilities, I learned about the great talent existing within each of us - much to my surprise.[/p][p]With thanks to the advances of technology, we are able to keep in touch, 35 years later and half a world away. My friends have since developed into successful professionals, rivaling anyone I know in capability and determination.[/p][p]The amazing qualities of perseverance and resilience uncover the essence of life, and with the right support, together, anything is possible - even a London Marathon on St Helena.[/p][p][br][/p][p]A sincere thanks for your support, encouragement, and any contributions towards a great cause. Through Virgin Money Giving, you can sponsor this challenge and join me on my journey to benefit others. Donations will be quickly processed and passed to charities. Together we can make a difference.[/p][p] Virgin Money Giving is a not for profit organisation and will claim gift aid on a charity's behalf where the donor is eligible for this. [/p]
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Nov 4, 2020


Well done Neil, such a positive thing to do, a real achievement


plus £25.00 Gift Aid

Oct 29, 2020



Oct 13, 2020

Sarah and Marc Lockley


Oct 13, 2020

Pam and Patrick

Oct 7, 2020



plus £1.25 Gift Aid

Oct 6, 2020



plus £0.75 Gift Aid

Oct 6, 2020

Fiona Campbell

Fantastic work Neil well done!


Oct 5, 2020



Oct 5, 2020



Oct 4, 2020


A pleasure and a privilege to run with you today Neil, even if it was only for a short stint. Well done!


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