London Marathon 2024: Support Dean! - Earthwatch

London Marathon 2024: Support Dean!

Much of Earthwatch Europe’s work wouldn’t have the impact it does without public support, including the wonderful fundraisers who have run (or walked) the London Marathon for us. Hear from our marathon runner Dean why he chose to join our team this year.

Why did you decide to run the London Marathon this year? What made you choose Earthwatch as your charity to support?

I wasn’t thinking of running the marathon, and previously, I have always vowed never to put myself through it! That said, I’ve been involved in Earthwatch Europe’s Tiny Forest programme as a Tree Keeper, and I get emailed monthly updates. I happened to see that there were some places available for the London Marathon 2024, and thought this could be a once-in-lifetime opportunity, so I applied… and the rest is history! As a Tree Keeper, I help looking after my local Tiny Forest. This has allowed me to see first-hand the great work Earthwatch do, and I am thrilled to be representing this charity at the London Marathon.

Being a Tiny Forest Tree Keeper has allowed me to see first-hand the great work Earthwatch do, and I am thrilled to be representing this charity at the London Marathon.

Have you taken part in the London Marathon (or a similar fundraising event) before?

I have never run a marathon, or half-marathon. The furthest I’ve run prior to this is approximately 10k. In terms of other fundraising activities, I have volunteered for WaterAid for the previous two years as part of their Good Loos Crew at Camp Bestival Dorset. We are trying to get people to donate to use the ‘cleanest loos’ on site. I was part of the crew in 2022 and we helped raise over £10,000 over the festival weekend!

What fundraising events have you organised to reach your marathon fundraising target?

With the help of my friends, we have held a Christmas Wreath Making Workshop (see photo). Proceeds from the Severn Trent Raynesway Christmas Market have been donated towards my fundraising efforts! I am also planning a samosa sale at work soon.

How is the marathon training going? What do you like best / least about it?

The training is going well, although I’m not really enjoying the cold weather! I need to buy a big pot of Vaseline for my chapped lips. I have ordered some headphones so I can listen to some motivational music during the runs. Being alone with your thoughts for an hour is nice, but sometimes I get fed up with myself so music on some runs will be a welcome break! My feet seem to be holding up well which is a bonus… I’m enjoying researching new places to run, and some of the scenery on the runs has been lovely.

Do you think your military background will help with reaching your goals?

Yes, absolutely! One thing you learn in the military is to never give in and to not accept failure. The military can also be very much about sticking to routine, and this helps massively with following the training programme. I can’t claim the military has helped with my current fitness as it’s been nearly 20 years since I left! Time flies…

How can people support you with your fundraising challenge?

I encourage support through donations on my Enthuse fundraising page:

  • £15 could buy vegetable plants for an urban school as part of Green Earth Schools.
  • £25 could buy freshwater quality testing kits for our FreshWaterWatch volunteers.
  • £50 could support our community monitoring events at our Tiny Forests.

Community volunteers helping to plant a Tiny Forest

You are one of Earthwatch’s Tiny Forest Tree Keepers. Can you tell us a bit more about this experience?  

I knew nothing of Earthwatch prior to becoming involved in the Tiny Forest programme. Being a Tree Keeper has been very enjoyable! Having a reason to get out and do some worthwhile work is great. I’ve arranged many ‘community days’ at work, where willing volunteers have come along in worktime to lend a hand with the weed clearing. I was also lucky enough to be invited to be a speaker at a webinar with Earthwatch Europe’s CEO, Steve Andrews!

Inspired to take part?

Applications for the London Marathon 2024 are now closed. Contact our Fundraising Team today to register your interest for the London Marathon 2025 and join our team next year.

What we offer our fundraisers

  • Personal support via email from our Fundraising Team
  • Training tips from a qualified running coach
  • Virtual meetings and exchange with other runners
  • Free runners vest sent ahead of the event
  • Cheerful support from Earthwatch staff members on the event day

Discover more ways you can support our environmental work.

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