Earlier this year, SafeLane CEO Adam Ainsworth sent out an invitation to staff in the company’s British and German offices, asking if they wanted to join him on a run in the autumn.
He had a positive personal reason for taking on the challenge:
“Some of you may know that I have been suffering with Lyme Disease since the start of the year, which means I have not been able to do any exercise at all in 2019 (yes absolutely zero). I have now finished an epic course of drugs and am hopefully on the road to recovery – and I can start to exercise again, wahey!!! I still have to keep my heart rate low, less than 160 beats per minute, so my first few attempts at running have been extremely slow. I have decided to run the Forest of Dean Half Marathon on 29 Sep 2019 as a motivator towards recovery, and I’m looking for some company…”
Word quickly spread as office staff travelled to project sites, before Adam knew it his idea had become an event.
The SafeLane Global Gallop was born!
Staff from the Falkland Islands to the Forest of Dean, from Mogadishu to Mozambique and from Kismayo to Kenya willingly volunteered to take part in runs around the world on the same day as Adam, to show solidarity with his recovery.
On hearing the news, valued suppliers offered to sponsor the event and a very ambitious fundraising target of £10,000 was set.
It was decided the funds would be committed to benefit victims of landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW) around the world where SafeLane is active in the mitigation of these threats.
SafeLane family unity
Logistics and administration staff in the Gillingham and Ross offices set about actively raising funds, whilst project executives, led by Mel Villegas’ sterling efforts, spread the word to project staff globally to encourage more sign ups.
In Somalia, Sheree Ali, Rich Stanley and Vlad Trebunski led the charge – organising the event beautifully. In the Falklands, John Hare pulled it out of the bag and enabled all the deminers to take part, in Sudan Paul Smit and Sean Wells ensured permissions were coordinated so staff could participate, with Jaco Coetzee safeguarding the teams by providing hydration throughout the event.
The list of SafeLane family members who pulled together and made the Global Gallop a success is long. The night before the big event Adam sent out this message to his fellow runners:
“Dear SafeLane Runners
On the eve of the Global Gallop I wanted to thank you for your enthusiasm and commitment to this fantastic cause. It all started because I was just going for a run, some people said they’d join me and it spiralled from there. Now we have more than 150 SafeLane runners in Somalia, Sudan, the Falkland Islands, Mozambique and the UK.
I wish you all the best tomorrow as you tackle your half marathon and if the going gets a bit tough please remember that our efforts have raised over $15,000 which will directly benefit victims and families affected by landmines and ERW.
This is a great display of the unity of the SafeLane family and the good that we can do if we work together.
Thank you and good luck - enjoy it!”
The Global Gallop results
In extreme conditions ranging from torrential rain in England to freezing cold temperatures in the Falklands, and from 36-degree heat to 40% humidity in African nations, every single runner completed the Gallop.
They pounded drenched pavements, scrambled up sand dunes, raced along shorelines and waded through boggy ground and they absolutely smashed it!
At the time of writing, their incredible efforts have raised more than £13,000 / $15,000 which will directly benefit families affected by explosive accidents and help fund a risk education programme in Afghanistan.
A full and detailed description of how the funds will be used will follow when all the money has been collected, allocated and benefitted from.
Thank you sponsors
In no particular order, a heartfelt thank you to the following individuals and organisations that so kindly donated to the cause – please be proud of your contribution to an amazing cause:
Guy Marot, Kismayo Camp, Diane Bademci, J Cammish, Gavin Faulkner and Creative Emporium, John, Jon and Eira (Muddy Boots), Mike Byatt, Jamal Dayes, Mark Jones from TC Diving, Jonathan Starkey from Bridge Insurance, Jon Evans, Charles Spencer, Sean at Complete Business Solutions, Rockfield Recruitment, Richard Wilcock, Charlie Toy, Margot Pitt, Mel Villegas, Nichola Taylor, Peter Hutchinson, Mark Vickers, Derek Pudney, Christine Galinsky, John and Karen Hare, Ben Taylor, Fiona Allan-Smith, Debbie Ali, Carl Davenport, Duncan Mackenzie from Epiroc, Tom Newey from Challenge Coins UK, Will Carmichael, Simon Fenton, Kirsty Louise, Alan Wilson, James Vidler, Ann Selby, Roy Peer-Smith, Tim Pybus, Prometheus Medical, Richard Wormald, Barcan+Kirby, David Harper, Daniel Oates, Josh Hawkins and all those who chose to remain anonymous!
Thank you, runners
The last word deservedly goes to the SafeLane family of runners who gave up their time and who battled blisters and aching limbs to run for this great cause. You haven’t just raised a fortune, you’ve raised the spirits of your colleagues around the world…we are all so proud of you and inspired by you.