Dignity Walking Marathon…Suitable for legs of all ages – 24th June 2017
A huge well done to all 28 walkers who took part in the first ever Dignity Marathon!
What a great day we had for our inaugural marathon. By the end of the day there were lots of tired feet and big smiles…along with lots of stories! It was great to support our team of walkers with cookies, flapjacks, balloons, medals and general cheering on….
Route & distances
Starting out from Buxton train station the route took in the edge of the peak district, dropped down to Errwood Reservoir and then followed the Peak Forest Canal, Goyt River and Mersey River back to Didsbury. The total distance was just over marathon length at 27 miles.
This event was raising funds for our work in remote communities, predominantly in Zambia, Namibia and Tanzania. The money raised will help support Impact Team members like Dorothy. You can read her story on below.
Current Total Raised: £5140 (incl estimated Gift Aid)
Every penny has the potential to make a difference to many lives. Huge thanks to all our walkers and everyone who sponsored them. Thank you!
All that’s left now is to for us to put the money you have generously given to work bringing hope and transformation to many communities.
Dorothy is in many ways a typical Zambia matriarch. She lives in the far north west of Zambia with her husband and their extended family. Currently there are 18 people living at Dorothy’s home. Dorothy oversees work on the family farm and also does tailoring work. Despite facing a number of challenges, Dorothy volunteers as a Dignity Impact Team member.
As an Impact Team member Dorothy travels to villages and communities around her province helping others begin Life Groups. Life Groups equip people to transform their community and tackle poverty through the love of Jesus. Life groups are doing amazing things. They are caring for the elderly or orphaned. They are helping people break free from addiction. They are serving communities, building bridges or applying for boreholes. They are sharing and showing the good news of Jesus!
We support Dorothy with regular training and with a monthly allowance that helps her travel. £100 would support Dorothy or a team member like her for a just over a month! Each team member supports an average of 22 Life Groups, meaning an estimated 440 people receive regular discipleship.
Up the hill and down to the lake;
through the forest, toilet break,
crossed the road that would take us to the canals.
The ripples told stories of life beneath the murky waters,
As ducks, geese and a lone-hunting heron negotiated their place,
Fleeing, flying but always watching as boats delivered wine-sippers to the nests of their dreams.
The moor-hens busied themselves hiding and finding reeds;
Their bright red beaks gave them away.
“Civilisation!” Cried a walker, now starting to feel the pain of pursuit;
We paused in wonder of age old engineering, opening and delivering boats from heights to depths, refusing to let the hills stop their flow.
“Bike!” We moved to the right.
“Red truck!” We ticked our list, as the fire-engine rumbled along the gravelled road.
“Have you seen a man, who has had enough of this life and threatens to throw himself in?” The fireman asked, as though this was just another day of duty along this path.
“No.” We replied, but further on they knelt by his side bidding him to breathe and fill his lungs and mind with hope.
Now pass the aqueduct and down to the road,
“It’s all flat from here.” I’ve heard that before.
“Horse!” We reached a farm but missed the bridge; a chance to meet the locals.
“Where’re you from then?” A farmer asked a walker, whose appearance placed him elsewhere.
“Born and bred in this city.” He responded, unable to hide his fury, obviously asked that times before.
“Italy?” The farmer grinned and queried, accepting that as closer to the truth than we were from home. By now the American, Iranian, Irishman, Bajan and actual Englishman realised we had missed our turn.
Flapjacks awaited. We didn’t hug the marshal but devoured the contents of the ziplock bag, which up to then were the subject of rumour and incentive.
We made it to the city and endured the stares, as by then we looked like men who had lost their way.
“Not far now!” Funny how 7 miles seems a stroll against the 20 covered before.
Familiarity fuelled our feet, though joints and soles faced defeat;
we hugged the river and made jokes to hide the pain, suggesting that we would do this again.
But the last 3 miles felt like all was in vain and each step was met with the groans of trying.
Each step and each try led us to the sight of home, where balloons and well-wishers beckoned us on.
Medals presented, hugs and pats on the back, met with the smell of fine grilling and the sound of claps.
We were welcomed like champions, ate burgers, drank tea, then hobbled and limped our separate ways, bonded by Dignity.
Here’s some of our favourite photos from the day…