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23.11.11

Man runs half marathon in aid of Project AWARE

 

In his own words Matt Roberts explains the reasons behind his decision to take part in the Torbay Half Marathon, the day itself, and his hopes for the future…

What a day, full of excitement, adrenaline and nerves, underlined by a sombre feeling of how much more still needs to be done.

From the day I signed up my knees have been noticeably shaky, but knowing that what I was training for is such a great cause made every step an enjoyable one. Since taking the plunge and opting to stretch myself to do this, I felt a strong sense of accomplishment, even though this was the very beginning.

Between training and resting I found time to collect a sponsor or two. At first, I received somewhat mystified looks when I explained that the run was in aid of the marine environment. However these looks soon changed to astounding generosity that I was not quite prepared for. Once people found out what kind of activities we undertake, the initial hopeful request of sponsorship flared into exchanges of childhood memories of seaside holidays and an apparent lost love of the oceans. It soon became clear that a large percentage of people I spoke to really care for the oceans. Unfortunately most believed that the oceans are blooming with fish stocks and remain almost unaffected by our actions. Sadly we know that this is not the case, so it became a great opportunity to spread the word and get more people involved.

Although I’m a relatively active person, running this kind of distance is entirely new to me. It took a lot of time, discipline and countless blisters before I was fully prepared. When race day finally arrived I couldn’t have asked for better conditions, the great British summer had not let me down, - dull and overcast with a chance of rain. Perfect! Thankfully the ocean repaid my efforts with a much needed cooling breeze as I ran along the coast, gazing out across the reason I was there.

1 Hour 37 minutes and 54 seconds, gives you quiet a long time to think. Many things crossed my mind but there was one thing that really hit home while I was watching the waves, and It’s that there is still time; still time for us to educate and protect, still time for us to change our ways and become more considerate, and that there is still time for our oceans... but how much? That I couldn’t figure out.

I really enjoyed the whole experience and hope that more and more people become aware and are able to get involved. I’d like to thank Project AWARE for the work they undertake and issues that they tackle. I would also truly like to thank everyone that has sponsored me; I’ve been overwhelmed with the amount of support that I have received. What’s more, there’s still time to donate!

If you would like to sponsor Matt, visit www.justgiving .com/Matthew-Roberts-UK.

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