End-marathon“Well, I did it – I ran the London Marathon for the Tanzania Development Trust. I can still picture some moments clearly; shivering at the start; the incredible noise of the crowds at the Cutty Sark, catching sight of my parents around mile nine, Striders marshalling at 25 and of course the final few hundred metres to the finish line. I did it in 3h 12m10s, and loved it. Well, mostly. With hindsight, anyway.

Big chunks of the race are a bit of a blur now but one thing I will never forget is the incredible generosity of everyone who sponsored me. It really did keep me going in the tough bits (read: from about mile 18 onwards). Almost 100 people, including some I don’t even know, raised an incredible £3,566 – more than I could ever have imagined. I was over the moon and so touched by everyone’s generosity – still am.

What’s even better is that, because of the way TDT works, I know that 100% of that money will go directly to fund project work. I also know exactly what it’s being spent on, which really adds to my sense of achievement.

TDT split it between two great projects helping young people develop new skills to earn a living:

£2,465 went to Kasodefo, a small NGO in Simiyu, which used the funds to buy 20 desktop computers and desks, allowing young men and women to learn computer skills under the Kasodefo youth employment programme. The students take a six-month course, which includes some soft skills and business management skills training.

TDT also gave £1,215 to the AICT tailoring and youth development programme.

These funds are helping to train 81 vulnerable young people in Tabora region in tailoring skills. These young people will then help train more young people, giving an ongoing impact. AICT also runs other vocational skills courses including bike repairs and wedding catering.

It was a huge challenge, but one I am so glad I took on. If you’re thinking about doing it yourself, I say go for it! It will be worth every step.”