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Runners interview: Where’s Wally? fun run, debuts at the Olympics!

Emdad Rahman
‪On 15 March 2020, hundreds of runners, families and book lovers will dress up as the popular children’s book character Where’s Wally? and run, jog or walk to raise money for the charity’s work.‬
Supported by Walker Books, publishers of Where’s Wally? the event is a fun day out for the whole family and includes a 5k or 10k run, and a 1k version for kids under 12.

An interview with Iona, winner of last year’s Where’s Wally? fun run:
Do you run regularly? Why?

I run most days and have done since I was about 11! The longer the run the better. I run in or back to work, it means I get to avoid the tube, get my daily dose of exercise and sets me up for a day in the office or helps me unwind after a busy day. I tend to crank up the running intensity depending what races I’ve got coming up.
Your thoughts on the last Where’s Wally run you took part in?

It was a great day; lovely atmosphere and fun course with lots of support, running in where’s wally gear definitely mixed things up a bit, there were even dogs sporting the WW look! It was fantastic to raise money for such a brilliant cause and it definitely helped keep me (and the team) motivated throughout training and on the day.  
How did you feel?

Very accomplished for a ‪Sunday morning‬ and inspired by the amount of money we managed to raise.
Did you have a purpose for taking part?
It was a fun team activity to do with colleagues, whilst raising money for a brilliant cause plus I was running London marathon in April, so it doubled up as a training run, with a twist!
Do these events bring communities together?

Definitely – we had about 6 people from my team run it together, with lots of colleagues turning out to support.
Why is literacy important?

Good literacy skills allow children to do well in school across a range of subjects, including English, maths and science. Not having essential literacy skills holds a person back at every stage in life. It makes succeeding in school harder, getting a job harder and supporting their own children’s learning hard too.
Children’s levels of reading enjoyment are at their lowest since 2013 and so it’s really important to get children engaged in reading and excited about books to give them the best chance in life.
Who’s your running role model and why?

As a marathon runner it would have to be Paula Radcliffe!
What can be done to support the Literacy Trust with the excellent work they do?

You can easily donate to the National Literacy Trust through their website, or become a regular giver as well as host book sales, bake sales and sign up for the challenge events the charity organises such as the Where’s Wally? Fun run!
But something everyone can do is to encourage all the children in their lives to read for fun and explore stories in whatever way they enjoy most, to help them build their vocabulary, literacy and communication skills.  
Your advice to anyone wishing to take part. 

Do it! You won’t regret it for a moment, plus you get a where’s wally costume to take home after – you never know when that may come in handy.

Find out more and register for the 2020 Where’s Wally? fun run: literacytrust.org.uk/WheresWally


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