With the London Marathon on this weekend I took the opportunity to get my friend Steve Biggs to write a post on his charity running for Every Mother Counts.
Why am I a UK running ambassador for Every Mother Counts?, a USA based organisation dedicated to making pregnancy and childbirth safe worldwide. I’m male, not married, have no children and fortunately haven’t had any family or close female friends experience life threatening complications during childbirth.
Well as its founder Christy Turlington Burns said to me when we were jogging together back in March 2016 “Everybody has a mother”. That moment has stuck with me ever since and has become my “go to” phrase when wanting to explain why men as well as women can be involved in this charity’s great work. It was indeed her own experience with postpartum haemorrhage (PPH) after the birth of her first child Grace that lead to her launching Every Mother Counts (EMC) in 2010, a condition that causes about 1,000 deaths worldwide each day.
My own relationship with EMC started out from a brief Twitter conversation with Christy back in late 2012. I was following a hashtag conversation regards marathon running and couldn’t help but mention that my dad Roger had just run his 715th marathon (he’s now on 850+!) to which her reply was “He’s either crazy or super human”.
Fast forward 14 months and I’m in Manhattan, wearing my EMC vest as I take on my 3rd marathon, and 1st of two NYC Marathons for the charity, the second being just one year later in 2014. All this from a single Tweet and a chance offering of a place on their running team. This lead to one of my favourite photos above: Christy, Alex, my mum Rosemary and me at the 20 mile point of the 2014 NYC marathon.
I had an instant affinity with the charity team as they are a small group of committed staff, most of which are still there 5 years on, and secondly they have a prominent and recognisable figurehead in the form of Christy, herself a dedicated marathon runner.
I’ve run for many different worthy charities before, many of which are gearing up right now for this weekend’s London Marathon, but the vibe I get from EMC is different as it has a real community feel to it, especially with its group of running ambassadors. So much so that in 2016 I become one of two UK running ambassadors, and one of over forty worldwide.
I primarily promote the charity’s work through my Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts whenever I’m at a UK based race. Whether that be me in my EMC vest, getting my marathon crazy dad to pose in a hoodie, or of late encouraging my girlfriend Claire to wear one in races too (reluctanctly at first that is).
Which flows neatly into this post that my running friend Rob suggested I write for this reluctantdad website. This time two years ago he would have had very little interest in babies and pregnancy but with an 8 month old daughter just look at him now. It’s funny how single events like that can change your priorities and interests in an instant.
To find out more about Every Mother Counts visit their website at https://www.everymothercounts.org/