World Travel Market’s Internet guru, Jamie Bell, is lining up to tackle this year’s Virgin London Marathon in support of the exhibition’s official charity Just a Drop (JaD), which supplies clean water to communities in developing countries.
Jamie will be one of the 30,000 participants taking part in the April 17 race when he is running his first-ever marathon.
The 28-year-old was a keen runner during his university days, running for Nottingham Athletics Club and competing in the British University Sports Association Athletic Championships.
“I’ve never run a marathon before, and the anxiety of the unknown is beginning to kick in,” Jamie explained. “Unfortunately, I’m not as fit as when I was at university so am having to train really hard.”
Jamie is running up to 40 miles a week and going to the gym before work in a bid to get in peak condition for the 26.2 mile course.
His motivation for his grueling training regime is the knowledge of how JaD’s work can really help communities in developing countries. For example, a recent project in North West Kenya saw the building of a water well at a local school. Previously, the children’s water supply came from a dirty river which led to death, water born illness, or even being trampled on by elephants and crocodiles.
“Having traveled a fair bit across Africa and India before joining World Travel Market, I have seen first hand how JaD’s works really improves the lives of communities,” Jamie – who is aiming to raise £1,000 – said.
The money Jamie raises will go towards the building of wells, installing boreholes and hand pumps, and helping carry out sanitation and health education programs in some of the poorest parts of the developing world.
JaD and World Travel Market Chairman Fiona Jeffery said: “I am delighted Jamie has volunteered for the challenge of running the London Marathon for JaD. I’m sure all at WTM, Reed Exhibitions, and the wider travel and tourism industry will support him.
“The charity’s main mission is to reduce child mortality by delivering accessible clean, safe water. It has helped more than one million children and their families in 30 countries – including India, Ethiopia, Niger, Senegal, and Zambia – since launching in 1998.”
Jamie added: “Having seen how important clean water is to communities in developing countries, it’s great to be able to do my small part in helping them. This feeling will help spur me on as I ‘hit the wall’ when running the London Marathon.”
Please donate, spread the word, follow Jamie’s training progress, leave some messages of support, and find out more about the JaD at: www.justgiving.com/jamie-bell , Just a Drop Twitter: http://twitter.com/Just_a_Drop , Just a Drop Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ .
For further information on the Just a Drop charity and the work they have already done, please visit www.justadrop.org .