On Sunday 8 October a team of fearless runners will be taking part in the Royal Parks Half Marathon in support of Children & the Arts. They’ve been fundraising and training tirelessly for the last few weeks and we’d love for you to meet some of them. 

Dan Mucha

Age: 43

From: I live in London, but am American originally from New York and most recently Seattle.

I’m supporting Children & the Arts because Performing Arts education has inspired both of our daughters. They've been lucky to have access to teachers and programmes that have helped them to build confidence and express themselves creatively. We're excited to support a cause that aims to bring the same inspiration to more children in the UK.

I'm most looking forward to running through London's beautiful parks with other passionate runners.

Prior to the Royal Parks Half Marathon I've enjoyed running 5Ks and 10Ks, especially in Regent's Park, and doing hikes and ski tours. This will be my first half marathon, and I'm challenging myself to finish under my target time.

Check out Dan's fundraising page

Monika Wilczek

Age: 28

From: Poland

I’m supporting Children & the Arts because I believe that giving children equal opportunity to get a good education, to experience art, to understand science, are one of the most important tasks nowadays.  Through art and music, we learn about world, history, and beauty. What's more, understanding art develops our ability to analyse, our creativeness and our empathy, it teaches us to have our own point of view, to question things, to look for an answer. I feel these are the values every child should have an opportunity to learn. Giving children chance to have the same start is the way to fight with global inequality.

I'm most looking forward to the spirit of people who run together and fight with their weakness for some good reason. And for a beer in the finish line – it tastes the best after 21K.

Prior to the Royal Parks Half Marathon I’ve done several half-marathons and 2 marathons in my life but every run is a challenge.

Monika is fundraising with SpaceLab, check out their fundraising page
Twitter: @monika_mw89

Georgie Borthwick

Age: 30

From: Norfolk

I’m supporting Children & the Arts because having had such a fantastic arts education from school through to university, I believe it's so important for every child to have access to the same to harness their individual and collaborative creativity.

I'm most looking forward to the spirit and adrenaline you get from running in a crowd.

Prior to the Royal Parks Half Marathon I used to run a lot but had a skiing incident a few years ago so I'm only really just back on my feet and running distances, so this will be a challenge to get round and hopefully achieve the same results as I did before the accident.

Check out Georgie's fundraising page

Valerio Volga

Age: 35 in a couple of days!

From: Turin, Italy

I’m supporting Children & the Arts because as an art lover, I find your purpose inspiring.

I'm most looking forward to doing my best and enjoying myself.

Prior to the Royal Parks Half Marathon - this is my first race ever, I’m so excited! The beginner’s training plan is proving to be the right one for me. I think I can run the Half Marathon under 2h15m. Would be cool to get closer to 2h.

Check out Valerio's fundraising page
Twitter: @ValerioVolga

Sam Spedding

Age: 39

From: Winchester

I’m supporting Children & the Arts because I value the benefits an artistic education has given me and believe that children should have access to this regardless of their background or disability. This is what CATA aims to do and thats why its so important.

I'm most looking forward to running with other people; having a bit of support rather than solitary training! 

Prior to the Royal Parks Half Marathon I have never run this far before (in one episode, and probably barely in aggregate). I don’t consider myself a natural runner. So yes, this is a significant challenge! 

Check out Sam's fundraising page
Twitter: @SamSpedding

Cicely Taylor

Age: 40

From: London

I’m supporting Children & the Arts because I want to raise money to support the fantastic work that Children & the Arts does in helping disadvantaged young people and terminally ill children to access the arts in settings across the UK.

I'm most looking forward to the beautiful surroundings and the feeling of camaraderie.

Prior to the Royal Parks Half Marathon I have run a number of races for charity before, but never at this distance. This will definitely be a challenge for me physically, but I'm looking forward to completing it!

Check out Cicely's fundraising page
Twitter: @thecicelyrose

Enormous thanks to everyone who will be running for Children & the ArtsGeorgie Borthwick, Andrew Budgen, Kaitlin Lechich, Meaghan Lomenick, Michelle Marshall-McGarry, Dan Mucha, Bartosz Nowojski, Sam Spedding, Cicely Taylor, Valerio Volga and Monika Wilczek – we’ll see you on race day!