The reason for my marathon madness

I am bored silly today. I thought I’d be back at work and I was looking forward to teaching but I had a really high temperature over night and my cough has got worse. I’ve felt exhausted today and have dozed on and off but now I am awake and bored. I’ve been thinking about all sorts of stuff and drifting in and out of sleep and it occured to me that I haven’t shared much of the reason we signed up for the marathon. Well I guess there were the personal reasons  – better fitness and health, shifting some weight, the challenge of doing something I was pretty sure I couldn’t do… but there is also the wanting to make  a bit of a difference to the world we live in and raise some money for our chosen charity Panthera.

I do get the irony of going to Disney for a race to raise money for Panthera. The trip is costing us more money than we will raise and there is an argument for saying we should perhaps just given Panthera that money and be done with it but I am sort of hoping that we will raise a good chunk of money for them and also raise awareness of their work. Maybe our running adventure won’t be the last time you support them (Thanks to those of you who have already sponsored me by the way. It really helps!).

So before I forget – you can donate on our justgiving page but you can also donate direct on the Panthera website from where you can also send stunning e-cards  – which are I admit a little expensive but, I think, worth it. They also have an online store but I see that is currently closed.

So what’s your favourite big cat? That question has occupied my flu addled brain today. Lots of people say Lion. Well it it is lions for you, there’s lots on the Panthera site. There are fewer than 30000 lions left. Their number has reduced dramatically and just don’t exisit anymore in 80% of the places they used to roam. Panthera are helping by engaging local communities to better manage their relationships with the lions and reduce conflict. Have a look at Project Leonardo on their website for more

I’m a cat person. I like all cats, including big ones. It’s hard to pick a favourite. I do think snow leopards are stunning and I like the fact that we don’t know that much about them, that they are still so mysterious. They are also under threat. Panthera says that it is thought that only 4000-7000 may remain in the wild. That’s heartbreaking. Panthera are helping through scientific studies that can inform and underpin policy and by working with governments in the snow leopard countries. Again check out the website for more.

I do think my favourite big cat though is the cougar. Why? Maybe because I have seen one. Years ago I went on a trip to Houston, Texas and stayed with friends. They took me on a weekend trip into the depths of southern Texas and I woke up early, looked out of the window of the static caravan thing and there she was – maybe 50-60 metres away just minding her own business. By the time I’d got my camera she was gone but we did later see her tracks. I’d hate to imagine a world where my memory is of a species that doesn’t exist anymore!

There are several projects explained on the panthera website and there are links to the scientific papers underpinning some of them and if that’s not your thing there are also lots of pictures of gorgeous cats! You don’t need youtube for your kitten fix!

So, I will drag my butt round a stupid amount of miles for the rest of this year and come January for the big event. If you can help support us in that running mission whether by donating or sharing our story and encouraging others to sponsor us or donate directly then please do. Donations made to Panthera are channelled straight into the programmes rather than the running of the charity so they really do make an enourmous difference! THANK YOU

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