Athens challenge in a good cause

By SJA member David Owen

No fireworks for me this year. Instead I shall be plodding along the road from Marathon, taking part in the Athens Classic Marathon, scheduled for November 5.

Why would a middle-aged ex-FT hack with a bit of a tummy and some unexpected time on his hands actually choose to participate in such a punishing event? In my case, to raise money for a very good cause.

Laurie Engel, the son of Hilary and my fellow journalist and former colleague Matthew Engel, died about a year ago, aged 13, after a long and heart-wrenching fight against a rare and aggressive cancer.

This brought home to me as never before what a cruel and grotesquely unfair scourge cancer is.

Now that the Engels have set up the Laurie Engel Fund to work with Teenage Cancer Trust and the hospital where Laurie was treated, I want to help ensure that they meet their goals. Hence my decision to go to Athens to try to complete the original marathon, or a good approximation of it.

I have set up a webpage where more details about Laurie’s fund and the TCT can be found. It is also possible to use the page to make a donation in a convenient and tax efficient way.

I would be chuffed to bits if some SJA members – who have already been more than generous towards the fund – felt able to avail themselves of this facility to help make my run as worthwhile as possible. Many thanks.