Croxley Green man, James Booth, designs Sierra Leone Marathon 2014 route

Croxley Green man designs West African marathon route

Croxley Green man designs West African marathon route

First published in News Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

A man from Croxley Green has swapped his brogues for trainers after he quit his London job to help organise a gruelling West African marathon route for charity.

James Booth, of Dickinson Avenue, traded his city job and took on the role of race director for the Sierra Leone Marathon 2014, organised by Street Child.

Street Child’s biggest fundraising event is its annual marathon, in Makeni, Sierra Leone, which takes place on May 25.

Mr Booth, who attended Harvey Road School before moving on to Merchant Taylors' School, is one of the team who have mapped the route.

For the last three months, Mr Booth has been race director for the marathon, which is designed to raise money for Street Child, which provides educational opportunities for some of the most vulnerable people in the continent.

The 23-year-old said he is delighted to have the opportunity to be a part of the event after being inspired to take up running following the Watford Half Marathon a few years ago.

He said: "Several years ago I was running in the Watford Half Marathon and I never thought I would have the chance to run, let alone organise a race myself in such an incredible location.

"I saw the opportunity to become race director for the Sierra Leone Marathon whilst in my old job in London, and thought I would drop everything to pursue a genuine interest of mine and help to raise money at the same time for a very worthy cause."

Mr Booth not only designed the route but is due to run the full course himself today (Friday). He said that preparation is going well and, although it is gruelling, he is convinced the hard work will be worth it.

Street Child supports more than 20,000 urban and rural children, helping them to have access to quality education. The charity provides funds for building schools, sourcing teachers, counsellors and providing family business advice for those children whose lives were torn apart by the country's civil war which ended in 2002.

Street Child won the support of the UK government for its Every Child in School Appeal, meaning that, between Mary 18 and June 17 all donations will be doubled as part of the government’s UK Aid Match scheme.

Mr Booth has set up a fundraising page for his marathon challenge. To support his efforts, visit www.justgiving.com/James-Booth1

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