heels on fire: 04/03/06

Monday, April 03, 2006

On course on the road less travelled...

Pulling Everything Together for 600kms in May.

In my mind I have been wondering what are the right words to use to impress upon you that this run can make a difference to the lives of people around the world, impacting on lives for a greater good. How can I convince you that this isn’t just a flash in the pan idea? What can I do or say to convince you that during thirty days (this May) you can make a contribution to highlighting issues in the developing world?

The facts speak for themselves. This week has seen break-throughs disproportionate to reality. In the last week we have seen the following:

- Wednesday - North Face (that is right, North Face!) came through as a kit sponsor for ‘Heels on Fire’. Though I still need some shoes (wink wink New Balance) and flight tickets (come on Karl and David at Intrepid - it will work for you).
- Thursday brought me personal assurance that I would have a job to come back to.
- The evening saw Rahul and I ‘booted and suited’ making huge inroads with the Indian tourist board and Indian High Commission. On paper and over the phone we are opening doors of interest. Meeting people in person is bringing results. We are convincing people that the benefits are huge!
- Friday brought a conversation inroad with the international director of Actionaid. This gentleman is seriously influential in the world of development, especially so in India and Kerala.
- A link has been made with the Hindu newspaper, the most credible newspaper in India and the one with the best sports section. Readership of over 3 million people. There are strong hopes for column inches in the Manorama Newspaper in Kerala, readership of 7 million. The team in India are meeting one of the most respected writers in the country later this week.
- We are talking with some of the key people to get the Indian Navy 'on board' and helping out with the run.
- The Runners World will receive an article and photos after the run. Mens Health are keen, as are the Guardian and Metro newspapers. The doors are opening daily, with countless others hopefully following.
- The website domain has just been registered. The website will be up and 'running' very soon.

On Friday evening I came back home to find a package of goodies from the North Face. Sporting my new ‘rehydration pack’ and looking at its fetching colours brought home the deep reality that together we are spinning a great idea for development to the point where relative strangers are convinced of the run and its potential philanthropic spin-offs.

The media are in place, the sponsors are getting there and the development angle is being refined. Its a brave new world.

More on the all important development angle to follow.


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