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Please Help Me Help Others - BUPA Great North Run 2008 and the Guide Dogs for the Blind

September 4, 2008 06:22 by Andrew Westgarth

On Sunday 5th October 2008 I will be taking part in the BUPA Great North Run and I am hoping to raise a sum of money to be donated to the Guide Dogs for the Blind

Why The Great North Run?

gnr_logoWhy not is my response :). It's so easy to sit at home and watch these events and say wouldn't it be great to do that! So I decided around December 2007 last year to investigate how to enter and submitted my entry form in January and paid my entrance fee, then I waited on tenterhooks to see if I got a place. Unfortunately I've had events in my life which have made me learn the very hard way that Life is Very Short and we should value every day of it. I am not hugely physical, I do play football two to three times a week but have never really been into running let alone 13.25 miles! So I looked upon the Great North Run as a challenge and something I could look back on and say I did that and at the same time hopefully help other people! I am setting myself a personal target of the time I want to achieve - if you don't have something to aim at you'll never reach the stars.   TRAINING UPDATE: I am now up to running 10 miles in one stint at a half decent pace so am well on the way to being ready :).

Why Guide Dogs for the Blind?

guide dogs blue logoWhen I looked at the long list of very worthwhile causes, I had a few milling around in my mind, with which I have had or have connections with in some form over the years, but Guide Dogs for the Blind was the one that sprung forward. Six years ago my Dad passed away, a dark and very stressful period in my life which rocked me too the core, and as part of the funeral we collected money for Guide Dogs for the Blind and just had family flowers. We chose Guide Dogs for the Blind then because my Dad always had a great love for dogs and in particular the Labradors and Retrievers which are synonymous with the Guide Dogs Organisation and so there we had a link. There were other charities we considered but we decided to help the Guide Dogs for The Blind.

Just a couple of weeks ago I was reminded of the great work that the organisation do and the amazing stories of how Guide Dogs help to change the lives of people are blind, when watching the Secret Millionaire on Channel 4. In this programme a gentleman in Glasgow had become blind after contracting a rare illness and to see how valuable his Guide Dog is and how it lets him live independently and how much love he has for the dog was very moving.  If you are in the UK I would very much recommend that you watch the program via Channel 4's online service - and you'll need to search for the Secret Millionaire - Nick Leslau.  Hopefully whatever amount I raise will be of help to the Guide Dogs for the Blind Organisation and will enable them to continue the great work that they do!  For more information about the Guide Dogs for The Blind visit their website

So how can you help me?

You can help me by sponsoring me via my JustGiving Page, and hopefully through my efforts in the Bupa Great North Run I can raise a sum of money which will be used by the Guide Dogs for the Blind to continue their great work! 

Comments (2) -

Andy Smith

We had 100 runners running for a theTony Blair Sports Foundation, I only hope you had as much success as we did. I'm sure everyone had a great time, and what better way to do it than for charity!?

Andy Smith | October 6 2008 02:25

Andrew Westgarth

Great - hope you all had a great time!  I managed to complete the run in 2:15:10.  Unfortunately I picked up a stinking cold about 3-4 weeks before hand and that affected my training.  Now have a time to beat tho and am still raising money so hope to be able to make a good donation to the Guide Dogs.  It was an excellent experience and a challenge to tick off my list Wink

Andrew Westgarth | October 8 2008 03:33


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