Published September 7, 2018 at 11:00
A council worker is taking on the world’s largest half marathon in aid of charity.
Adrian Smith, principal planning officer for Rossendale Council, we be among the 57,000 runners taking part in the Great North Run on Sunday (September 9).
He is raising money for Open Doors which supports Christians around the world who have been persecuted for their faith, providing vital aid and support to displaced families.
The father-of-three recently visited central Asia to hear about some of its projects and said:
Some people had come from difficult backgrounds. I was struck by one man with a disability who had been very violent but whose life was turned around.
In some cultures disabilities are seen as a shame to a family and many people are institutionalised or hidden away. He has a passion to help others in the same situation and has done a lot to help people set up small businesses to give them dignity, as well as linking them together socially.
In another country unemployment rates are more than 40 per cent. It’s very hard to get decent work, particularly for those who are marginalised, and micro loans are again helping people to set up small businesses.
One man was given a loan to start a beekeeping business. Not only has he repaid that but he now employs five people and is struggling to meet the demand for his products.
In other countries, children’s clubs and events are helping children to have fun and learn when there was often little for them to do.
Adrian has already raised thousands of pounds after completing last year’s Great North Run from Newcastle to South Shields, the Manchester half marathon and a marathon in the Middle East.
He is aiming for under two hours on Sunday, adding:
Training has been ok but hard work. I am a bit behind where I would like to be but I have achieved these times on a number of training runs.
People can sponsor Adrian on his JustGiving page or donate £10 by texting KITS60 £10 to 70070