Neil Foster will join over 40000 other competitors from around the world to compete in the virtual London marathon on Sunday 04th October. Neil’s run will take place virtually on St Helena which is possibly the remotest participant joining the virtual marathon; St Helena is also going to be one of the most challenging places in the world to compete in any marathon due to the Islands very hilly terrain and size. Neil, the Canadian-born passionate runner describes living on St Helena, in the middle of the South Atlantic, as one of the most isolated remote places on earth.
Neil will have to run across the Island, touching three of the four sides, to meet his 26.2 mile goal to achieve the distance of the marathon. Neil will begin his run from a popular post box walk starting point at the South West of the Island before heading along Frenches Gut passing Cason’s forest towards the Sandy Bay Ridges, up to the summit of Diana’s peak (820m asl) continuing on towards Hutts Gate, and Longwood road passing the famous Napoleon’s house on the way to the St Helena Airport.
The run will include a run around the St Helena airport runway before completing the final leg of the marathon towards the newly built Airport haul road on to the final point in Rupert’s valley. Neil is also hoping to have live data tracking for most of the run.
St Helena’s Active Participation in Enterprise, or SHAPE as they are more commonly known on St Helena, will be the main supporting body for Neil’s run on the day. SHAPE, is St Helena’s first and only social Enterprise charity which was established in 2008, SHAPE plays a crucial role in supporting the island’s disabled and vulnerable adults who could face social exclusion. SHAPE provides supportive training opportunities through environmentally friendly projects.
Neil’s run will raise money for the UK based Aerobility charity, which has similar social objectives to SHAPE on St Helena. The Surrey based Aerobility organisation is a disabled flying charity that tackles the isolation that disability can sometimes lead to. Aerobility’s specially adapted aircraft flies from airfields around the UK and every year supports over 600 individuals. No doubt the community on St Helena will be behind Neil on his run, as St Helena is not only a special place for community spirit but also a great place for any challenge.
To support Neil’s challenge and to help disabled people to find their wings and help them to fly.