Just what the doctor ordered

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Martin Moodie
Martin Moodie is the Founder & Chairman of The Moodie Report.
Martin Moodie

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Right. That’s quite enough of these hospital visits for, shall we say… a decade or two? How do you tell your surgeon and oncologist, wonderful people that they are, that you hope you will never meet them again?

I’m back at home base, clasping a fine glass of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc while I write and bouncing back to what I hope will be full health in the passing of, shall we say… a single grape-growing season…?

When I was a little boy reading the Aesop’s Fables I always wanted the hare to beat the tortoise but it never did. That probably explains my arguably hasty attitude to recuperation from illness and surgery – and, damn it, my unfortunate setbacks of recent weeks.

But I’m still standing and the mental faculties seem to be functioning as well (or as badly) as ever, so I prefer to look forward rather than back. And in that sense my spirits have been lifted incalculably by the results of last weekend’s Moodie Multi-National Marathon, which took place all around the travel retail universe.

What an occasion. Already some US$151,343 has been raised through the dedicated Marathon website while much more on top has been channelled direct to the beneficiary – travel retail industry project Hand in Hand for Haiti.

Arguably the most pleasing element about the Marathon was the way it reached beyond executive management level and right to the shop floor of our industry. It was thrilling to see photos of retail staff participating in their hundreds all around the world across the four-day span of the run.

Larnaca crowd_Small

Over 450 runners and walkers took part in Hong Kong alone(below). At Larnaka Airport, Cyprus, a six-person CTC-ARI Olympians team (above) ran on a treadmill in front of enthralled and engaged passengers.

DFS crowd HK_Small

Around the globe they ran on the beaches, they ran on the land, they ran on athletic tracks, they ran on treadmills. They ran past famous landmarks. They ran in silly costumes. They completed their ‘runs’ on surfboards (below). They ran with heart and passion. They ran, and ran, and ran.


[The Sydney Slickers incorporated the iconic Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge on their grueling 7km route]

The Beach_Small

[The Altus Group’s ‘Kokua for Haiti’ completes the distance in appropriately Hawaiian style]

Isn’t that something? A simple, perhaps optimistic idea just a few months ago had mushroomed into a quite wonderful expression of industry involvement, compassion and solidarity. I have experienced many moments of pride and admiration down my quarter century career in travel retail but I think this project has brought the biggest smile to my face, simply because of the depth and joy of buy-in from across the industry.

As recuperation goes, this is just what the doctor ordered.

Footnote: A special thanks to my colleague and friend Rebecca Mann at The Moodie Report, without whom this event simply would not have taken place. Perhaps not surprisingly given her Welsh spirit, Rebecca, a previous non-runner, completed the Marathon in a very smart time (39.48). More importantly, she went many an extra mile in putting the whole organization together when I was unable to.

To Melissa Chu of DFS, who did so much thankless work on organising the fund-raising website, a huge thank you for your incredible professionalism – and patience. And finally, our thanks go to the irrepressible, quite wonderful Lynn Arce of DFS for just being who she is and making the impossible happen.


[The TFWA Flying Team, led by Managing Director Alain Maingreaud, third from right]


[A spontaneous show of effort from DFS Changi Airport General Manager Keith Tam (third from left) and his team from Changi Airport, the Hip Hop Bunnies]


[A sea of blue descends upon East Coast Park as runners from DFS Singapore do their warm-up exercises by the beach.]


[The entire Jonathan Holland & Associates team out in force to support the Asian Tigers’ training run in Bintan, Indonesia.]


[The SSP team runs for Haiti, posing post-run in their chefs’ whites next to Concorde]


[The ‘M&M’s Runners’ team, including Mars International Travel Retail General Manager Jack Tabbers (right), ran around the Mars chocolate factory in Veghel, The Netherlands 4.5 times, buoyed by some familiar, colourful supporters and the sweet aromas of M&M’s production]

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  • Hi Martin,

    YES, you can be proud about this wonderful result! You, and only you, can get this kind of motivation from people around the world to get together and help those in need. So, you have no choice but to listen to your doctors and give your body the time it needs to recover from the war it went through. Because we need you to keep us focused on the important things in life!!!!

    You have now to start thinking about the next major fund raising for Hand in Hand in Haiti. I am on!!!

    Hugs and BRAVO to the Moodie Marathon!!