Special Great South Run mission to celebrate 40th birthday

First-time runner Clare Seek is tackling the 10-miles to raise �4,040.40 before turning 40. Picture: Portsmouth City Council
First-time runner Clare Seek is tackling the 10-miles to raise �4,040.40 before turning 40. Picture: Portsmouth City Council
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A mother-of-two will take on a 10-mile challenge as part of her mission to raise £4,040.40 for three different charities before her 40th birthday.

Clare Seek, of Wimbledon Park Road, Southsea, will run the Morrisons Great South Run in aid of the Tear Fund initiative ‘Toilet Twinning’, the Christian Relief Education and Development Foundation (CRED) and Portsmouth Food Bank.

Splitting whatever she raises between the three charities, 39-year-old Clare says she decided to give something back to society before she reaches a big milestone in her life.

The Great South Run will mark the beginning of Clare’s fundraising efforts, which she will continue with until her 40th birthday on February 6.

She said: ‘I’m very content in life but when you start to reach 40, I’ve found people asking me what I would like to mark the occasion.

‘I realised I have everything I want in life but there are lots of people around the world that don’t have that same luxury.

‘I thought this would be a constructive way of celebrating the occasion but giving something back as well.’

Clare will join up to 25,000 runners on the start line of the Great South Run, which takes place in Southsea on Sunday, October 25.

She has played an active role with Tear Fund since the age of five after living in Africa with her parents, who were missionaries of the organisation.

The charity has launched an initiative called ‘Toilet Twinning’ which provides people in some of the poorest communities in the world with a working toilet, clean water and ways to stay sanitary.

Clare said: ‘I heard about the Toilet Twinning scheme a couple of years ago and think this is an incredibly worthy cause.

‘People can sponsor a toilet in places like Cambodia and get a little plaque in their own toilet reminding them of their act of kindness.’

Clare will also be running for the CRED Foundation which works around the globe setting up projects in education, employment and community development.

She added: ‘I’ve worked as a finance manager with the foundation for over 10 years now and am still so proud of the work that is done. We work closely with partners all around the globe trying to eradicate poverty for good.’

Reducing worldwide poverty is an aim Clare wants to help achieve closer to home too, by giving a third of money raised from her running efforts to Portsmouth food bank.

Donations made will aid the group in sorting and distributing any donated food to local people in crisis.

The Great South Run takes in iconic landmarks such as the Spinnaker Tower and Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, and runners are kept motivated by bands on the run, boost zones and thousands of cheering spectators.

Famous faces to take part this year include the comedian Hugh Dennis, while European 10,000m champion Jo Pavey will compete in the women’s elite field.

Currently in the middle of training, Clare is running three times a week in preparation for the challenge in October but admits she has never 
done anything on this scale before.

She said: ‘My main objective is to go the whole way without walking. I would love to consistently run for the 10 miles and think that would be a huge achievement.

‘My daughter is a bit worried for me, but the whole family will be there on the day cheering me on!’

Clare’s children, Mariella, 6, and Kester, 4, are both taking part in the Morrisons Mini Great South Run on October 24.

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