Marathon Mariner Runs to Honour Crewmates
A British seafarer, who trained for months while on board ship, completed the 2021 London Marathon in aid of maritime welfare charity, Sailors’ Society.
George Belcher, a third engineer who has served as a mariner for more than seven years, took on the 26.2 mile race on 3 October to raise awareness of the challenges seafarers are facing due to the pandemic, and to raise funds for Sailors’ Society’s global work.
Most of George’s training was done on board ship using a tread mill, with his first running session ashore just six weeks before the race.
George said: “It’s great to be able give something back to a charity that’s helping seafarers get through. The last 18 months, I’ve worked alongside some of the most professional crewmates who have suffered mentally because of the ongoing pandemic or when contracts have been unexpectedly extended. They’ve shown great resilience and determination, carrying on with the job at hand.
“By taking part in this event, I wanted to show my appreciation for my colleagues who’ve made massive sacrifices to keep the world running through the pandemic, and to the maritime charities who’ve supported them.”
Many of the world’s seafarers haven’t set foot on dry land for months or have been stuck on board, unable to return home, due to Covid-19 regulations and changing travel restrictions.
George joined six other dedicated Sailors’ Society supporters, including a group from Tindall Riley (Britannia P&I Club), in the run, raising more than £5,000 for the charity to date.
Sara Baade, Sailors’ Society’s CEO said: “The mental and physical stresses of the pandemic and crew change crisis have taken their toll on many and we’ve had a huge increase in demand for our support and welfare services at a time when fundraising has been quite challenging. We’re so grateful to George and our other London Marathon runners for their incredible efforts on our behalf and offer our huge congratulations on their fantastic achievement.”
Next year’s TCS London Marathon is planned for 2 October 2022. If you’ve been inspired by George’s achievements, Sailors’ Society has guaranteed charity running places available. Find out more and sign up today at: https://sailors-society.org/events/london-marathon-2022