Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Marathon for Wray Crescent

Tulips planted by the Friends of Wray Crescent, 2012

Dan Curtis, who will be running the London marathon to raise money for Wray Crescent (donate here), told me about his plans and memories.

Q: If you hit your target, what will that mean for Wray Crescent? Do you have a definite plan to do X, or is it more of a extra cash always useful thing?

A: I really have no idea what I'm going to raise. I know that slides etc are ludicrously expensive (you need the padded floor underneath) so in my dreams I'll raise £5k which Islington council will match (they have promised to match fund), and then we'll be able to buy something big and fun for kids to play on.

I've been around most of the local estate agents - I guessed they have a vested interest in making the local park nicer) and they've all promised they'll donate. But so far, none of them have actually turned words into actual pledges on my website. If they do, I'll give them a good namecheck...

This is my 5th marathon so most of my friends have sponsored me before for other charities, so that reduces the amount I can expect from them. But, I'm planning to do a bit of door knocking over the next few weeks and I'm trying to get the Islington Gazette interested...hopefully this will raise a bit of awareness.

All the money I raise will go to The Friends of Wray Crescent, and as I mentioned above, Islington Council will match everything I raise. I'm also hoping my efforts might encourage those who are good at fund raising and tapping into the various pots of cash that are out there to get involved too.

Wray Crescent is lovely: I grew up playing cricket there as a kid. So it breaks my heart when I see kids get bored of the playground. But it is poorly stocked, so I want to do something that makes a actual change.

Q: Suppose you made far more than your target - what would you do with £100k or £500k?

A: If I raised 500k I'd start a new career as a fundraiser.

I've always said if I win the lottery, I'd put aside a huge amount for Wray Crescent, and build a playground like Stationers park, and rebuild the pavilion, and open a cricket club for local kids there.

I played cricket in the late 1980s in Wray Crescent and that's when learned to love the game. We had a fabulous team who would go up and beat all the posh kids in the Crouch End ... there was so much local talent then, kids from all backgrounds. I'm sure it would be the same now.

Q: I'm guessing you're running a lot to train - any good routes near Hornsey Road?

A: I've made a secret pact to myself that all my runs have to go through or round Wray Crescent. It's a good way of adding an extra kilometre to whatever route I'm doing. My favourite routes include some or all of: Wray Crescent, Finsbury Park, Clissold Park, Parkland Walk (upper and lower), Kenwood House, Hampstead Heath, and Primrose Hill.

Q: Are you the kind of permanently sporty person who runs 10ks for fun, or has this been a shock to you?

A: Neither really. This is my fifth marathon in the past 10 years, but in between times I'm a typical 42 year old father of two with a sedentary lifestyle and a pot belly. Having said that, I cycle to work in central London most days and play football badly once a week ...even so I've been surprised at how easily my body has adjusted to running stupidly long distances. I only found out I had a place in the marathon in January, so only started training around then. I'm up to 16 miles in training, I reckon I need to get to 19-20 miles by I'm on course.

All I need now is some sponsorship.

Anyone reading this, please pop in whatever few pennies you can afford, it all gets matched by the council, and hopefully it will help make a great local facility a place kids and parents can really go and enjoy.

No comments:

Post a Comment