By Olly Davies
Peter Gilmore, a 20 year old Cardiff University student, completed a solo marathon on Sunday, July 5th. The Media and Communications student was running to raise money for Northern Irish charity Ten Foundations.
Peter, who is from Ireland, intended to run the Belfast Marathon earlier this year in May to raise funds for the charity. However, the event was cancelled due to the ongoing pandemic. Undeterred, Peter still wanted to help raise money for Ten Foundations – which like many other charities has been struggling to raise funds during the Coronavirus crisis.
So, later than originally scheduled, Peter decided to run his own marathon using his route to work as a guide.
Ten Foundations, founded in 2012, is a charity which helps support the poorest families in the Baylayan region of the Philippines. Their website states, they “run a livelihood programme, including a scholarship programme, skill building and medical missions.”
The charity trains and enables women in the Philippines to make school bags and backpacks, which are sold by volunteers in Northern Ireland.
“Each woman in Ten Foundations is given the tools to help lift herself and her family out of the cycle of poverty, effectively helping to break it.”
Peter ran from the Ten Foundations shop in Belfast to his home. Covering a distance a little over the official 26.2 miles for a marathon. The effort took just over 4 hours, raising over £3,200 so far.
The weather conditions throughout the day were far from ideal. However, the torrential rain and howling gales were more than offset by support from friends and family – many of whom kept him company for sections of the run.
When talking of his experience of the run, Peter explained, “I never felt on my own during the run. That’s the unique thing with smaller charities; [there are] no hierarchies, we all just work together.
“During the run, it was like everyone was lifting together!
“There was a genuine emotion.”
Afterwards Peter said, “Ten Foundations means the world to me. Seeing the difference this charity makes to impoverished families in the Philippines is inspiring and that’s what drove me to do this run.
“A good day of bag sales means you can help send a kid to school.
“That for me is awesome!”
Since finishing the solo marathon, Peter has enjoyed a well earned beer. “We are given so much, it’s great to give someone else a boost!”
Peter has not ruled out doing the Cardiff Half-Marathon or other events to raise more funds for the charity. But for now he is relaxing after the whirlwind of the past week.
The charity, run by volunteers, has found the past few months very difficult.
Ian Campbell, founder of Ten Foundations commented “Normally at this time of year we would be visiting lots of schools, telling them about what we do and selling our bags.
“But now, more than ever, we really appreciate the generosity of donations and fundraising activities like this.”
Peter added, “If you want to support Ten Foundations and the work that they do, next time you are buying a bag, why not buy one that can change a life.”