Railway Children’s safeguarding director, Andy McCullough, started running to help clear his head and keep going after sadly losing his wife Kathy. One year and many, many miles of training later, and despite the coronavirus pandemic postponing his plans, he will be running the Manchester Marathon in October and raise money for us at the same time. Andy has been with Railway Children for 14 years and has seen first-hand the impact of our work in the UK, India and East Africa.
On this page you can keep up with his progress and show him your support on his incredible journey.
Andy celebrates amazing achievement – but doesn’t stop there…
We’re delighted to let you know that our brilliant Safeguarding Director Andy McCullough successfully completed his marathon challenge last month – and already has plans to keep on running, and keep on raising money for us.
Andy said: “I was hoping to do a short film to update everyone on how my marathon went, but between having to isolate for a while and then the country going back in to lockdown – the filming project will have to be finished in a few weeks.
"But the marathon itself has successfully been finished! Yes, I did it! On October 25th – which was also my 53rd birthday - I set off at 5am and five and a half hours later I completed my first marathon. The last few miles were a slog but I kept reminding myself of the importance of this. Given the challenging situation facing so many vulnerable children at the moment, these funds will be spent well and with that in mind I managed to keep going to the end.
"Your support has meant the world to me and thanks to you I have raised over £1,700. But I’m not stopping there! I’ve been thoroughly bitten by the running bug, and it has been so good for me at a time when I needed something positive to focus on. So I have set myself a goal of completing a marathon every month, in a different place. So in the last year I have gone from Couch to 5k, and then on to being a marathon runner – at the same time as raising money for charity. If I can do it – so can you!”
In his new vlog, Andy explains some of the ways he has prepared himself for his epic run and the various things he has learnt along the way. Having never been a runner before, his advice includes some great tips on what… and what not… to do in order to get marathon ready.
"In this instalment I’ve talked about some of the mistakes I made when beginning my running journey. Never having run before there were many so it’s just the essentials. The big news is the marathon has been moved to next March, however not wanting to keep putting it off I have decided I am going to run it in November."
I’ve used this video to tell you a little more about my motivation. On the days when it’s raining, cold, I’m tired or just plain not in the mood for running I think about the children that we work with who have no choices and haul myself into my trainers and run. It’s a win, win really.
I feed my inner ‘Forrest Gump’ while raising money at the same time so that the children we work with have better choices.
Check back soon for Andy’s next instalment where he will be talking about his journey to marathon fitness and his training techniques...
I took up running as part of my process of working through the grief of losing my wife Kathy and it really has helped. It keeps me sane and it keeps my blood pumping. She was always such a positive person, so I was determined to turn my experience into something positive by running to raise money for Railway Children because I’ve seen for myself that we make a real difference.
The children we work with are among the most vulnerable people on the plant. The arrival of the coronavirus had the potential to be devastating for them and their families, who were often already fragile and living in extremely difficult situations.
I’m really proud of how our teams have continued to keep reaching the children that need us most during these very strange and worrying times.
I often think about the children we support that I have met over the years and it’s hard knowing that they won’t all feel safe at the moment. I want to raise as much money as I can so that we can be there for them now and as the world recovers from this virus.
I’m also running to prove that someone like me, who is not a natural runner, can do something this. If I can, anyone can and together we can all be part of the solution.