Get, SETT, Go… Marathon efforts to help our badgers

Alongside thousands of others, Care for the Wild stood proudly at the finish line of the London Marathon at the weekend to greet our fantastic team of runners. All came home safely – while the message they carried on their backs caused a bit of a stir!

Care for the Wild’s Fundraising Manager Nigel Palmer reports:

Care for the Wild’s Cure not kill campaign – calling for the government to stop the planned cull of badgers – raised great interest with the public as we had teams of runners in the Brighton and London Marathons over the last week.

The team, many of whom were first time marathon runners, wore black and white running vests proclaiming ‘Cure Not Kill’ – a message highlighting the BVI (Bovine Vaccination initiative) that the charity is helping to develop as an alternative to the proposed, dreadful badger cull.

The message was obviously noticed – as I found out myself! Waiting at the finishing line, I draped one of our Cure Not Kill tee-shirts over the barrier near the finishing line. After a while, a man in an official looking tracksuit and headphones came running towards me: “Take that down, it’s a political message!” he said, in an assertive manner. I looked at him: “It’s not political,” I said, but he was having none of it. “Take it down – now!”

Ah well. Personally I don’t think it’s a political statement, saying that badgers should be cured, not killed – I think it’s a humanitarian one. But hey. The good thing about this is that the message clearly got noticed – maybe even on the TV cameras? Please tell us if you saw it!

Our fantastic runners are hoping to raise £10,000 in donations to further fund the BVI initiative, and they did a wonderful job. Peter Eves, the senior member of the team from Kent, only decided to run the marathon at Christmas. His dedication and commitment were an inspiration to all of us and he more than delivered on his pledge to “not let us down” by finishing strongly in 4 hours 41 minutes. For him, the reward was going to be a long soak in the bath and a well-deserved meal out.

Tom Garvey from Middlesex was very creative in his fundraising, adding an animal themed sponsorship for every mile he covered to his donations. Despite a large blister, Tom was in good spirits at the finish having covered over three extra miles during the race to meet and greet family and friends – dedication above and beyond the cause of duty! Tom, a keen wildlife enthusiast was delighted that his efforts have helped to raise awareness of the plight of the Badgers.

The London team also included Sandy Edwards, a professional nanny, who ran a very impressive 4 hours 9 minutes, exactly the same time as fellow team member George Berthon, a student from Exeter University. Ryan Inocco recorded the fastest finish in 4 hours 4 minutes having driven to London from Yorkshire on Sunday morning.Ryan was looking forward to a hot shower and a cold beer after the event!

Our Brighton runners included Jessica Bowskill, who ran it in 5 hours 12 minutes. A couple of day’s relaxation was the reward for her stunning achievement..

Care for the Wild is working with farmers, scientists and other NGO’s as part of Team Badger. It is vital that we work together to find a cure for bovine TB in dairy cattle, and our BVI vaccination initiative is a deliverable reality. A cull of Badgers will not stop the spread of the disease and could in fact spread it wider to affect more herds – that’s a view supported by scientific research carried out by the government’s own scientists, not just the concerns of animal charities.

So we are extremely proud of all of our runners. They pushed themselves to the limits to achieve their personal goals whilst raising both money and awareness of the plight our beautiful badgers. Huge thanks to them all!

You can still donate to the runners via their Just Giving page links (below) or here. You can also call us on 01403 249832. Or if you fancy challenging yourself to help wildlife, take a look here.

Just Giving Pages:

George Berthon

Jessica Bowskill

Sandy Edwards

Peter Eves

Tom Garvey

Ryan Inocco