Running for my sisters and brothers

Volunteer Jo Brown tells us about running her first 10k for CAFOD and what it taught her about life.

Jo and team complete 10k run

Jo (centre) and her CAFOD teammates complete their 10k challenge


Training for any run is a challenge, whether it’s the London Marathon or a 5k fun run. But what both of these runs have in common is that they are incredibly satisfying to complete.

Recently, my CAFOD friends and I took on the challenge of a sponsored 10k run. An event like this was a new experience for all of us, which made it so thrilling and exciting to get involved with. Once we completed the run, we were all incredibly proud of ourselves and what we had contributed to CAFOD.

Running or jogging provides an opportunity to focus on your own fitness and getting that ‘personal best’ at the same time as encouraging others to get involved, which is why runs are such energetic and inspiring events.

Personally, I have always found running to be the most difficult sport, as it really tests how far you can push yourself, physically and mentally. When running, it helps to have full focus of the path ahead of you and to decide on what you want to achieve and how you will do so. I was reflecting on this point and it occurred to me, that this very much ties in with our life journey.

If I take the example of the Vitality London 10,000 run, which my friends and I ran for CAFOD. I got to a point near the end of the run when I wanted to stop, when I felt like I had to walk or slow down. But then I spotted a fellow runner who was speed walking. I exclaimed to her, “You can do it; we are so close!”

With a smile on both of our tired faces, we started to jog together at the same pace. However, when we had just 1km to go, I started slowing down again and felt like the finish line was too far. I signalled to my wonderful running partner to go ahead, go on without me! But she completely refused saying, “No way, you helped pick me up, now it’s my turn to help you.” Just by hearing those words I was swiftly jogging on, both of us cheering each other along the way.

Now, the woman and I did not know each other but that just sums up how we should act towards one another, towards our fellow brothers and sisters, in life. It is amazing what you can do with a little encouragement and support when you need it. We all need it from time to time as it helps us to realise our own potential, our own satisfaction and ourselves. I feel that this is what CAFOD stands for, to help each other to flourish and to be as one family.


Run for CAFOD in the Royal Parks Half Marathon

Runner for CAFOD in royal park race 2011

Feeling Active? Why not run the Royal Parks Half Marathon in support of CAFOD! and raise money that will help CAFOD to work in partnership with the poorest and most disadvantaged communities across our world enabling them to transform their own lives.

The race takes place on Sunday, 7th October 2012, We have 30 places still available and it costs £40 to register.

The Royal Parks Half Marathon is a picturesque race through four of London’s Royal Parks (Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, St James’s Park and The Green Park) and past some of the capital’s most historic landmarks, including Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, Houses of Parliament and Royal Albert Hall. The route map is shown below:

Royal Parks Half Marathon route map

If you are interested in running in support of CAFOD then please send an email directly to:

Or get in contact with Jim Simmons or Sarah Westrap on: 01322 294 924 or email:

For more information about the race visit the Royal Park Half Marathon website:


37,000 people will be racing 26 miles on April 17th  2011,  in one of the world’s best marathons. Please join us and help to support the runners in Team CAFOD

CAFOD has twelve runners in the London Marathon this year, and we’d love to offer them all the support and thanks from CAFOD that they deserve for their efforts.  Feedback from runners shows that our support along the course and afterwards really makes a difference to them, so we are looking for people who can volunteer on Sunday 17th April – it would be very much appreciated!

There will be two types of jobs, and there is no upper limit to the number of people who are welcome to come along and support!

The first type of job would be to turn up to a cheering point along the course and shout encouragement to the runners.  In addition to people who just want to cheer, we need someone to be responsible for collecting the CAFOD flag and resources and returning them afterwards.

We’re hoping to set up two cheering points along the course, at mile 13/22 (near Tower Bridge) and mile 17 (near Mudchute Park).  The job here is to set up a CAFOD area with banners and flags and cheer along the runners, making extra noise for any you see in a CAFOD vest!  For both of these spots we would need key volunteers for set up (around 9.30 am for Mile 13, and 10 am for Mile 17) and to pack up (around 3 pm or later if possible); these volunteers would be responsible for picking up the flags etc from, and then returning them to Community Fundraising on the working days before/after the marathon.  Then we need as many people as possible to turn up in between and cheer the runners along.  The cheering materials will all be provided, so for most it will simply be a case of turn up, enjoy the race and cheer along.

The second type of job will be a welcoming role, meeting runners when they finish the marathon, directing them to our reception, setting up the reception etc.  We will be holding our reception for the runners in a pub on Whitehall, and will also need people to help around this area, meeting runners in Horse Guards Parade as soon as they finish, escorting them to our showers and masseuse, or providing them with a cheery, thankful welcome at the pub.

People are needed throughout the day, from 9 am; any help would be greatly appreciated.  Also if anyone has a preference for the jobs they’d like to do or where they’d like to be, that’s absolutely fine.  If you fancy joining us for a drink afterwards, all our volunteers will of course be welcome at the post race reception.

This is one of London’s most exciting events, and CAFOD would really appreciate any help you can give.  If you would like to make a day of it and bring along friends and family, the more the merrier!  37,000 people are due to run the course so the bigger splash we can make to get our flags seen by these, the better.  It’s always an amazing day and really inspirational to see this amount of dedication and determination by so many people.  Fun guaranteed.

If you can help at all please contact Siân Hughes on 020 7095 5333 or by e-mail –