“Chris Irish has given so much to Project Hello World already: he reviews our accounts and has helped us to create a good system for our financial auditing. And now he is running the London Marathon to raise vital funding for education where it is needed most. The money that Chris raises, pounding along mile after mile in London this weekend, will go towards digital education for children in Africa. I like to think that all of his training and determination is in honour of children who — for too long — have been voiceless. Chris is doing something to change that. I am very grateful to him, and to all those who are supporting him.
Watching the marathon always makes me feel tearful — so much raw endeavour, the stakes feel high, each runner is alone putting one foot in front of the other, but also part of the pack, with London cheering them on. Reserved Brits cheer for strangers, wanting the best for everyone. It is all the more emotional when you think about the important causes that so many run for: in honour of parents, siblings and friends, for the fight for social justice and human rights, for those among us who can’t run, and who need our solidarity. For these reasons and so many more, we are cheering on Chris and all of the runners this weekend!
I ran the New York City Marathon in 2006. The race fell on the same day that I was opening a political arts festival, and I had hardly trained. I think I did six practice runs over the Williamsburg bridge and back, and I was actually eating a bagel during one of them. I pulled the labels off some of my running kit the morning of the marathon. I did finish the race, with a time somewhere under six hours — but only just … The reason that I was able to finish was partly that I had left my subway card at home and figured I would have to walk there anyway, and partly because I was carried along by the energy of the other runners and the crowd. It was a low moment when I was overtaken by a man in a full-sized rhino suit, but I plodded on.
There is something about keeping going that is very powerful. And that is how I feel about the struggle for social justice. It’s never easy, it’s not a straight path, and we are making so much up as we go along. But we have to keep going, and it is so much easier when there are friends and family to urge us forwards.
Thank you to everyone who keeps on keeping Hello World going with your vital support. Thank you, Chris, for your huge effort. We couldn’t do it without all of you.”
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