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Qatar Duty Free senior consultant Alan Edwards (above, in white lamb’s wool socks) has become a marathon man on a mission. The popular Welsh travel retail executive is in dragon slaying, sheep chasing, leek munching, daffodil plucking, Grand Slam winning mood as he prepares to run the Virgin London Marathon on 22 April.
He’s also on fund-raising fire, generating contributions not just to one but five great causes.
Donations pledged on his official page (http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=J%20AEdwards) will be split evenly between Breast Cancer Care and The Prostate Cancer Charity in support of the battle against two of the most prevalent cancers to afflict women and men respectively.
Any separate cash pledges will be shared between three causes very familiar to the travel retail industry: The Travel Retail Village in Sri Lanka, built after the tsunami of 26 December 2004; children’s cleft charity The Smile Train; and Hand in Hand for Haiti, the amazing travel retail-funded and operated school that was built in response to the January 2010 earthquake.
[Alan ignores the tempting wares of two ice cream salesmen during his last big race, Miles for Smiles in Dubai]
Alan takes up the story: “30 years ago when I entered the world of travel retail I watched the first London Marathon on TV and thought I should try this!
“Well 30 years on and thanks to a great friend and industry colleague Rodger ‘the dodge’ Craig, my dream… or even nightmare is about to come true, this truly is a Virgin Marathon!”
On his website he notes that he is running to honour the memory of long-time industry executive Ray Martin, who died in November 2009 of cancer.
Alan also comments: “My other objective is to put some more back into travel retail, a business that has given so much to me and my family… a career, travel and special friends.
“Please if you can give generously and I’ll do all I can to finish the bloody race in one piece!”
It doesn’t matter how many pieces you finish in Alan. Each one might not still be full of running but they will all be full of heart.