Virtual London Marathon 2020 - Remotest location on earth in support of Aerobility
Sunday 4th October 2020 saw 45,000 runners taking part in the Virtual London Marathon, running their own route wherever they may be based.
Neil Foster ran the most remote route in the entire event! When making initial contact with Neil's chosen charity, he said "I am a Canadian living on an a British overseas territory with my wife and young children, running the Virgin London Marathon - the 40th race - in support of Aerobility. I will be running a breathtakingly beautiful course solo, in tribute to the often lonely journey for those living with a disability. The marathon will be run on St Helena, a course touching 3 of the 4 sides of one of the remotest islands in the world, offering some of the best scenery and toughest terrain the place has to offer. The true highlight will be the support along the journey; the human connection to keep going and feeling positive, and ultimately reaching the goal together."
Neil chose a 26 mile route across St Helena to run in aid of two important charities - St Helena's SHAPE (St Helena's Active Participation in Enterprise) and a British flying charity called Aerobility. St Helena Airport Limited (SHAL) part sponsored Neil's efforts in support of SHAPE and Aerobility, and opened the Airport for Neil for him to complete some of the course around the runway perimeter.
The day started early for all and as close to the start line as we could get, SHAPE's very own Coban Scott-John and Leon Miller, helped Neil begin the arduous track across the 26 miles of St. Helenian terrain. Neil started his trek from South West point Post Box, across and up 730 meters above sea level to St. Helena's highest peak - Diana's Peak; home to our precious endemics - over to the eastern side of the island, to the world's most isolated airport past Flagstaff Post Box and down towards Rupert's Valley to finish - burial grounds of the Liberated African victims of the west African slave trade. A run like no other!
Neil requested the support of our local disabled individuals of SHAPE who took part at various parts of his route cheering him on and giving water and bananas for energy. For those who were able run or walk a distance with him did so lovingly and with great encouragement. This was definitely a first for SHAPE and St Helena!
This great experience has proven that anything can be done with support, love and determination - something we sometimes take for granted. Our disabled friends are truly amazing individuals who never lose hope and strive everyday to come to work and make a difference. They are truly the Superheroes of this world!
Sincere and special thanks are given to Neil and his family for giving SHAPE the opportunity to be involved with something so amazing and has shared in with memories that will never be forgotten. Neil is one of few that has opened barriers for SHAPE and has now developed a friendship with UK charity Aerobility which we hope will flourish in time to come. Thank you to everyone who gave support to Neil, Aerobility and SHAPE and we look forward to bigger and better things in the future! Let's "Fly Together" for a future full of support, love and determination.
Photo credits to: SHAPE, Craig Williams and Lolly Young. Click on the links below for video footage of Neil crossing the finishing line at Ruperts Valley (video credit Zedella Young) and a trailer filmed and produced by Craig Williams of St Helena Phantom View. https://twitter.com/i/status/1312807407320522753