On November 26th, 2011, I was rushed into hospital for emergency surgery to remove an abscess on my brain. It was a surreal and confronting experience, apart from the births of my 2 daughters, I had never been to hospital let alone undergo a lifesaving operation. Fortunately, the surgery was successful, but the road to recovery was a long tumultuous one, with a few highs, but many more scary lows along the way. After 2 years of generally feeling sorry for myself and not being a particularly great person, I needed a kick up the backside and to be delivered a few home truths. Luckily for me my wife Emma was on hand to make me realise how lucky I am and how much I had going for me. It was around this time I started running again, I'd toyed with the sport a couple of times and even managed to run the Melbourne marathon in 2009, all be it very slowly, but the running bug hadn't got me...yet!
As I started to improve both my physical and mental health a real passion for running took hold. Firstly, a year of running 10 k's, then half marathons the following year and then inevitably the big 42.2k the year after, with the first goal chasing that elusive sub 4 hr goal. After that was achieved I continued to set different goals, based around time or distance. As I write this today I am 3 weeks (and underdone) from my 9th marathon, Tralagon on June 3rd.
Why New York? - I lived in the US for 4 years, predominantly in New Jersey and fell in love with the Big Apple immediately. The sights, sounds and smells were everything a boy from Dudley who grew up watching “Starsky & Hutch” and iconic movies like “The Warriors” could have imagined. To have the opportunity to run this race during my 50th year is a dream come true and will take me one step closer to completing my next major goal of completing the 6 major world marathons before I turn 60.
Why the Roger Rasheed Sports Foundation? - To run for Roger's foundation fits in perfectly with my jobs. I've coached football (soccer) for over 25 years, and have been a secondary school teacher for 20. Sport and education have long been passions of mine, and using them together to help children achieve in their lives is something I have promoted for a long time. Recently I have moved into adolescent counselling and see the benefit of children participating in sport daily. As the concern about youth mental health grows, it is imperative that we do something about it, and I believe sport is the perfect pro-active approach.
The Roger Rasheed Sports Foundation aims to develop better, healthier children and communities by giving vulnerable and disadvantaged children access to diverse sports. All moneys raised will go towards building facilities and providing equipment as well as training programs, pathways and mentoring from elite athletes. Together, we can make a difference, please join me and my mission in educating our next generation, and providing them with recreational amenities.