Back (But Not) For Good

13 Mar

I’ll do the catch-up later: what’s with the title?

A little over 2 weeks ago, Russia invaded Ukraine, sparking a humanitarian crisis, and a mass exodus of Ukrainians fleeing for their lives. The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), along with many other organisations, is doing what it can to help, and the barristers and staff of St. John’s Chambers have pledged to cover the distance from 101 Victoria Street, Bristol (our office) to Mariinskyi Palace, Kyiv, with a fundraising target of £5,000. I’ve pledged to cover 100 miles in 2 weeks, plus whatever I can manage to wobble and tumble my way through whilst cross-country skiing in the third week (safe to say that holiday feels particularly poorly timed right now: another 50 miles’ running would be a walk in the park compared to staying upright on skis!). You can sponsor us here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sjcraisevitalfundsforukraine

As the granddaughter of a refugee, my knowledge of my family’s history gives me some small sense of the reasons why people flee and seek sanctuary. For my grandfather, who arrived in England a little over 100 years ago, his family shrank to just him, his sister and his parents. Attempts to contact those who had stayed behind resulted in silence at first, and ultimately a request from the Russian/Soviet authorities to not try and contact them again. Who knows if his aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents had died of natural causes, been killed in the civil war, starved in the famine, or even been killed by the revolutionaries? Countless Ukrainian families are currently separated, and the DEC is providing support to those they can help.

As for me, being a fun runner is suiting me. I ran a reasonable amount in January, relatively little in February when work was ridiculously busy, but should have a good chance of covering the 50 miles per week pledged as I have some time off to recuperate and refresh scheduled.

Thanks to T for making my Ukrainian flag face mask
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