When it comes to celebrating a Golden Wedding anniversary, many couples like to do something special – a big family party maybe or a fabulous holiday. Liz and Paul Jenkins, from Bournemouth, however, will be marking 50 years of marriage by running the London Marathon, in order to raise funds for a cause very close to their heart, Children’s Liver Disease Foundation (CLDF).
The charity has been an important one to the couple ever since their grandson, who is now 20, was born with a rare liver disease.
“Finn is doing really well now” says Liz who is 70 “He loves the great outdoors. He’s currently spending his second season working at a ski resort in France and when he’s home he works on the river. But over the years and especially in those early days, our family received great support from CLDF, and fundraising is our way of giving something back.”
The couple are both keen runners. Seventy-two year old Paul started running at the first Reading Half Marathon back in 1983. He is still a Reading Road Runner and over the years has completed 27 London Marathons and 11 other marathons. Liz, who took up running in 1988, has run eight London Marathons to date.
“We decided last year that running the London Marathon together would be a great way to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary and raise funds for a charity which means a lot to us,” she explained.
“We will be joined by my running buddy, Gill Douglas who will be running her first marathon and is also fundraising for CLDF. We have had great support from family, friends and neighbours, the Bournemouth Joggers – of whom Gill and I are members – and without their help our fundraising would be a much tougher task. Paul, Gill and I have done car boot sales, quiz nights, a dinner party and most recently our annual bring and buy coffee morning.
“We’re really looking forward to the Marathon – it’s always a fantastic atmosphere. The plan is for the three of us to run together at my pace but finish times are not important to us. Our main challenge will be to find each other as Gill and I are at a different start point to Paul. And of course, our main aim is to hit our fundraising target for CLDF!”
Alison Taylor, Chief Executive of Children’s Liver Disease Foundation commented: “CLDF is the only UK charity dedicated to fighting all childhood liver diseases, by providing information and emotional support, funds for research and a voice for all those affected. In order to do this however, we rely almost entirely on voluntary donations, so we’re delighted to hear what Paul, Liz and Gill have planned.
“Paul and Liz have been raising funds for many years, but I don’t think I have ever heard of anyone celebrating their Golden Wedding anniversary in this way. It’s an amazing achievement and we’re so proud of them. We hope they have a wonderful day.”
You can support the Golden anniversary London Marathon Run by going to https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser
For more information on CLDF visit childliverdisease.org.