Time to Mann up for another Moodie Marathon

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Here we go again. It’s time for the (gulp) second Moodie Multi-National Marathon, in support of Hand in Hand for Haiti. Somebody warn the staff at my gym. I think three of them are still having therapy after trying to train me for last year’s event. The others have probably left.

Running Mann goes the distance in last year’s Moodie Multi-National Marathon

Those of you who followed my Blogs last year will remember that I am to running what England’s Strettle is to grounding the ball properly. Try as we might, we just can’t do it – and it’s painful to even watch us attempt it.

To be honest, I find my inability to run pretty infuriating, because – that apart – I’m really quite sporty. I lift weights, dance, box, was a County level swimmer and used to play canoe polo competitively. I can bench my own body weight; have waltzed with ‘Strictly’s James Jordan; and have a roundhouse to be reckoned with. So why the hell can’t I run?

It’s not for lack of trying, I promise. Last year I bought all the kit, read Runner’s World religiously and even watched some athletics on the telly. Unfortunately at some point I had to actually get on the treadmill myself (who knew?) and despite an injury setback involving many packs of frozen peas I managed to run my leg of the inaugural Moodie Multi-National Marathon in 39.48. Nobody, including me, quite knows how. I’ll admit my trainers have been gathering dust at the back of the shoe cupboard ever since.

It’s not as if there’s any lack of inspiration chez Mann. In recent weeks I have been watching my LSS (long-suffering spouse) churn out the miles in preparation for the Brighton Marathon. Alas, he looks far better in running tights than I do. Lately he’s taken to getting up at 5.30am to run before work (!!!!!!). A naked Brad Pitt, dipped in chocolate, handing out free Louboutins and flanked by the 2012 Triple Crown-winning Welsh rugby team all jostling to give me a post-run rub-down couldn’t persuade me to do that.

And yet. As much as I loathe running, and as much as I absolutely suck at it, run I will (though I plan to train at a much more civilised time). Because the Moodie Multi-National Marathon supports such an amazingly worthy cause. Hand in Hand for Haiti has created a new, sustainable school, one that, uniquely, is not only funded but operated by the travel retail community.

That school, named Lycée Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, opened in the town of Saint Marc on 3 October 2011. The state-of-the-art facility offers a unique, all-encompassing approach to education – featuring accessible best-in-class, bilingual English-French instruction from kindergarten to (eventually) 13th grade. It is currently providing education for 152 children between 3 and 5 years of age.

All donations generated by this year’s Moodie Marathon will go towards funding three crucial facilities at the school: a computer centre, a library and a music centre. Last year’s event raised a colossal US$300,000, and brought together the global travel retail industry in an unprecedented show of generosity and solidarity. I was proud to be a part of it last year; I will be equally proud to contribute in 2012.

The Moodie Multi-National Marathon will be conducted between 15 and 18 June, and you can run/walk/crawl your 7.03 km segment on a treadmill, track or any terrain of your choice.

If I can do it (two years running!), believe me, anybody can. So please, do it with me. Start or join a team if you possibly can; or support others if you can’t. Teams can be registered and donations made via the dedicated website http://moodiemarathon2.kintera.org/faf/home/default.asp?ievent=1015480

Every dollar will make a real difference to a child in need.

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