Murray's marathon

Running to raise funds for earthquake-damaged schools

Murray’s marathon

Murray Faulkner ran the Auckland Marathon last year to raise funds to rebuild earthquake-damaged schools in Nepal. He tells us about his experience and his amazing journey to Nepal to see the rebuild work first-hand.

Running has always been the love of my life although I haven’t done much for the past 20 years or so. I’d always thought I would run a marathon at some point, but it was always sometime in the future.

Sir Ed has always been my hero and I’ve been lucky enough to visit Nepal several times so the Himalayan Trust inspired me to run the marathon now, with the excellent reason of raising funds to rebuild earthquake-damaged schools in Nepal.

When I initially started training I had a few scares about my fitness. But I really enjoyed joining the other Himalayan Trust runners on training runs. In the end, the Auckland Half Marathon was a blast! Running over the Harbour Bridge was an amazing highlight, as well as seeing the other Himalayan Trust runners at the finish.

Raising funds was pretty easy too as the work of the Himalayan Trust appeals to everyone. I had a big list of friends and family who responded well. Getting someone to give a reasonable donation first off really helps! I thought $1000 would have been my absolute limit but my fundraising total kept growing to over $2500.

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I’ve been to Nepal several times and it was a great privilege to be able to visit Nepal again earlier this year. I went trekking in the Langtang Valley where there were constant reminders of the massive 2015 earthquakes, the widespread damage, and the scale of the rebuild work facing local people as they struggle to bring their lives back to some normality.

I also went to see some of the work that my fundraising has made possible. I visited the earthquake rebuild programme at the school in Khumjung. I was amazed at how well organised it was.

I was very impressed with the work of Bidur, one of Himalayan Trust Nepal’s field engineers that I met. He was very diligent in checking the work quality, checking and logging deliveries and materials.  He’d been at the rebuild site for about nine months and I think he hadn’t seen his wife and family in all that time, which must be hard.

On one particular day, 21 helicopter loads of building materials including, cement, steel, timber, and fencing arrived. It all needed to be carried to a safe spot and checked for accuracy.

Every time a helicopter arrived dust was blown everywhere and the teachers in classrooms just kept teaching!

There wasn’t a wheelbarrow or conventional hammer in sight to make life easy for the rebuild team. Everything is done by hand. The concrete mixed by shovel. I helped where I could.

But the rebuild team were always laughing, never tiring of making fun of me, but also appreciative of any help I could give. I was very sad to leave.

I am very grateful Satya Man Lama from the Himalayan Trust Nepal for all his help and support.

Join our team!

Are you a passionate runner or walker who would like to join our team and fundraise to help remote communities high in the Himalayas?

If you’d like to challenge yourself, get fit and make a difference this year, or if you’ve already signed up to take part in a running event, we’d love to have you on our team!

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Find out more about rebuilding earthquake-damaged schools