Dubai: Chris Pickthall, a Dubai resident, will be running the London Marathon later this month to help raise funds to improve human and legal rights in the occupied territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Although this is the sixth time Pickthall will be participating in the marathon, which will be held on April 25, it is the first time that he hopes to raise funds to help Palestinians.
"I have always done the marathon for a good cause, and previously all the donations went to a UK charity that supports disabled children. With the company's presence growing in the Middle East, I feel that I have to do my part in helping the region and what is going on in the West Bank is extremely worrying," said Pickthall, managing director of CPL Aromas, Jebel Ali.
Pickthall will donate all the funds from the marathon to the UK charity organisation CAFOD [Catholic Agency for Overseas Development], which operates in more than 60 countries to tackle poverty and injustice, in addition to funding development programmes.
"Palestinians suffer from extremely low living standards, are denied access to land, hospitals, schools, work opportunities. And CAFOD works to alleviate these sufferings," he said.
Having raised more than Dh180,000 in his first two London marathons, he now hopes that the Dubai community will act generously to support his efforts this year on behalf of CAFOD in order to help those in the occupied territories.
Pickthall has chosen CAFOD since it has the lowest administrative costs.
"It is top in terms of the money got and takes the issue seriously. You can be sure that the money will go to the cause and to those who need it."
In preparation for the forthcoming marathon, Pickthall is sticking to a gruelling schedule of running various lengths everyday.
"I have a very strict training programme where I do a lot of running every day in the area around the Lakes and the Meadows.
"Everyday the [lengths] are different, so while the shortest run is half an hour the longest takes up to three hours and a half," he said.
"It has always been a dream of mine to complete the length in less than three and a half hours though."
- Donations can be made online at:
- Donations can be made online at: www.justgiving.com/chris-pickthall-LondonMarathon2010