Our wonderful Social Media volunteer, Tim Gardener, caught up with Kieron Walsh,
a devoted CAFOD volunteer, who ran with his two sons in the CAFOD Fun Run in 2015. They raised a great sum of money, and his son James even managed to clinch gold! Tim chatted to him ahead of this year’s race to discuss last year’s efforts, as well ask for any advice he may have for potential runners hoping to raise money for a fantastic cause.
Hi Kieron, you’ve been participating in the Fun Run for a numbers of years now. Please can you tell us what the Fun Run means to you and why you’ve remained so committed to it?
I have enjoyed running since I’ve been at school, and when I was involved with the Parish Senior Youth Club our PP Canon John Marmion suggested that I take a number of the youth to Upholland to participate in the late 1980’s. The first certificate I received was for £192 and it was raised for CAFOD, since then I have been accompanied by my very supportive wife Theresa and our children to the Fun Run, even when it moved locations! I have remained loyal to CAFOD all these years as I share CAFOD’S ethos and strongly believe in the work the charity does.
Why was last year so special for you as a family?
Last year was extra special since James finished first and Patrick also managed to finish in front of me. Also, I was pleased to be still running as a grandfather. I hope to get my grandchildren along in the not too distant future although two are less than six months old!
I know it’s not just you and the family who run, many other people in the parish who also get involved. Please tell us how the group of runners have gathered and how they raise the fantastic sums you achieve each year?
We are very fortunate to have very close friends Fran and Jeff who are so supportive of the aims and objectives of CAFOD, and both of whom have children who have accompanied us over the years. Similarly, since it is a ‘fun run’ and can be walked, we always encourage friends and parishioners to bring their relatives to walk or run around Wavertree to enjoy the occasion. We manage to rope in between 15-18 runners/walkers each year, as well as their friends.
What would your advice to be people who are interested in getting involved?
My advice to fellow runners would be to get a group together, and to obviously get their parish priest on side. Make sure you collect sponsorship and donations before and after the fun, do not forget to ask all of your family and friends. Use email publicise the run and keep a record of the names who are able to participate. Be sure to remind everyone, perhaps offer lifts and car share to the venue. After collecting the money remember to thank all for their participation and send my email a copy of receipt letter and a ‘certificate’. Also, enjoy the race, it’s great fun!
For event details, please visit cafod.org.uk/Events/Liverpool-Fun-Run2. This year’s run will be on Tuesday 27th December starting at 1pm at the Wavertree Athletics Centre and everybody is welcome to run, walk, toddle or walk the dog 3 – 7kms – up to you! Please do turn up on the day (get there about 12.20pm though!) and please try and raise some money for the Ethiopia Food Crisis Appeal!