Richard and Matt Thomas: a father and son running for Africa
15 May 2009
Every marathon runner has a story and a reason for enduring an athletic feat of this grand scale, and the Build Africa runners are no exception. Long-time supporter Richard Thomas has run every London Marathon since 2002 for Build Africa. This year was particularly poignant for him as he was running with his son, Matt, for the first time and the 2009 race was Matt's very first marathon. Together, the seasoned veteran and marathon novice crossed the finish line arm-in-arm, raising over £8,000 for Build Africa. Here is what Matt had to say about the experience in hindsight: "My father's years of marathon experience were invaluable for me, as he pushed me through "the wall" at mile 20 and encouraged me all the way. It was a really emotional experience crossing the finishing line together, one which I suspect I will not forget for the rest of my life, and I can't thank my Dad, and Build Africa, enough for the opportunity to run a marathon with him."
And it was a proud moment for a father. Richard noted that, "It was one of those lifetime experiences, like my 21st birthday, my wedding or the birth of my two children, that I will remember and cherish for ever. We stuck together through thick and thin and we didn't stop talking and encouraging each other all the way. I admit that, when we crossed the line arm-in-arm, we were both very emotional and it still brings a tear to my eye thinking about it. There is no doubt that the bond between my son and me has strengthened as a result of this wonderful joint achievement. I experienced a similar emotion when I visited the Build Africa school projects in Uganda with my daughter Verity."