SHINE’s largest-ever team of runners gathered on Sunday in Windsor Great Park for this year’s Half Marathon. Thirteen miles later, it looks like they’ve successfully raised more than £50,000 for SHINE’s work. So much for the day of rest…
The Windsor Half Marathon has been a firm fixture in SHINE’s diary for many years.
Far from feeling jaded, however, in recent years the SHINE on Windsor team has gone from strength to strength. Last year saw 25 dedicated supporters take part – at that time the largest team we had ever fielded. Not for long, though: this year the SHINE on Windsor team attracted no fewer than 32 runners, all of whom faced down unseasonably beating sunshine to complete the challenging course.
Naturally, every single runner is a massive winner. But particular mention should go to the fastest few. First to the finish line was Richard Mulley in just 1:40:10, followed closely by SHINE regular Michael de Lathauwer (01.41.25), and then Garri Jones (01.41.59). In fact, fully half of the team posted times under two hours, with everybody else finishing within the next 45 minutes – all superb performances of which each runner can feel justifiably proud.
As ever, our runners were a perfect mixture of familiar faces and fresh talent. We were delighted to welcome a new contingent from Tradeweb, the electronic marketplace gurus. They were running along with our old friends from Capital MSL, Goldman Sachs, Ernst & Young – and even our auditors, Rees Pollock.
Home-grown heroes & YouTube stars
Obviously we didn’t want to let our own side down so we produced SHINE’s fastest and fittest. For the first time ever our Windsor team included a peer of the realm – Baron O’Donnell of Clapham who, since retiring as Cabinet Secretary, has become a Patron of SHINE after many years of informal but energetic support. Meanwhile, SHINE’s Chairman, David Blood, completed the race in a very respectable 01.53.40, narrowly ahead of Malachy O’Keeffe, SHINE’s Fundraising and Communications Assistant (and keeper of our Twitter feed).
Then there’s our YouTube star. If you haven’t heard of Colin Hegarty, ask a teenager – they’ll know. Colin’s HegartyMaths site on YouTube has been viewed a bajillion times by secondary students looking for help with their homework. He was a very worthy winner of our first Let Teachers SHINE competition last year and we now know that he’s a whizz on the racetrack as well as in the classroom.
The bottom line
Talking of maths, we’ve been doing some addition. Our runners did a fantastic job stinging their friends, families and colleagues for sponsorship money, so much so that they’re firmly on target to raise a whopping £50,000 for SHINE’s work (we’re still counting).
This is a huge amount which will help hundreds of children and teenagers from disadvantaged communities to improve their performance in the classroom. Thank you very much to our runners and their sponsors for this remarkable demonstration of support and generosity. We have no doubt that it will change some young lives forever.