Break­ing a sweat for char­ity

Bri­tish man runs marathon in Old Per­li­can

The Compass - - SPORTS -

A run­ner from Eng­land who over­came crip­pling asthma used his strong legs and giv­ing per­son­al­ity to help the Bac­calieu Lions Club in Old Per­li­can raise money for the Lion Max Simms Camp in Bishop’s Falls on Aug. 8.

Jeff Carter ran a marathon dis­tance of roughly 40 kilo­me­tres from New Per­li­can to Old Per­li­can, and his ef­forts helped the club raise some $800.

It was ar­guably the most un­usual fund-raiser ever staged by the club, with the ob­vi­ous ques­tion be­ing: What was a 41-year-old man from Bushey in Hert­ford­shire, United King­dom do­ing run­ning a marathon on the north shore of Con­cep­tion Bay?

It’s all part of Carter’s plan to run 12 marathons in 12 months to raise money for char­ity.

The Aug. 8 run was dubbed “New­found­land Marathon by the Sea,” and was No. 8 on the list. Nearly all of the oth­ers are in Eng­land, with the next one sched­uled for Ber­lin, Ger­many on Sept. 25.

Carter de­cided to stage a run in New­found­land be­cause his fa­ther, Melvyn, and his fa­ther’s wife, Bon­nie, have a home in the com­mu­nity.

“ Hav­ing asthma made me un­able to do any­thing like this and I some­times strug­gled to even run a mile in the past,” Carter com­mented.

It wasn’t un­til he un­der­went ba­sic train­ing for the mil­i­tary that he was given a proper di­ag­no­sis. He later be­came an en­gi­neer.

“I was given a med­i­ca­tion that changed my life,” he noted.

His first seven marathons were in aid of char­i­ties in the United King­dom. But Carter and his fam­ily wanted to keep any money raised in the Old Per­li­can marathon in this prov­ince.

He was pleased to have the funds di­rected to the Lion Max Simms Camp, which caters to those with spe­cial needs, rang­ing from autism to di­a­betes.

Carter com­mented at the fin­ish line Aug. 8 that he was greeted by “the best wel­com­ing com­mit­tee” so far in his quest to run 12 marathons.

Carter’s wife, Sharon, ran the fi­nal leg of the race with her hus­band. Their two chil­dren — 14year-old-son Zach and Emily, age 11 — also took part.

Geanie Beck­ett, pres­i­dent of Bac­calieu Lions club, walked nearly nine kilo­me­tres.

The club pro­vided a soup and sandwi c h lunch af­ter the marathon.

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