• Half marathon coincides with anniversary of kayaking tragedy
• Family has already raised more than £10,000 for RNLI
• Sunday October 13 Great Birmingham Run open for entries
The daughter of a Midlands kayaker who tragically died during a race off the Dorset coast will be taking on the Simplyhealth Great Birmingham Run to raise funds for the RNLI.
Alistair Collier, aged 60, from Worcester, was last seen at midday on Saturday, October 6th 2018, at the start of a race in Studland, Dorset.
He was paddling in his kayak as part of an organised race and, due to the adverse weather conditions, was separated from the group and stranded at sea.
After an extensive and dedicated search and rescue operation, Alistair was found off the Dorset coast by HMS Tyne on October 7th and was sadly pronounced dead at the scene.
His family have since met some of the RNLI crew members who took part in the search for Alistair to express their thanks and have also set up a fundraising page, which has generated more than £10,000.
His daughter, Jennifer, who lives in Birmingham, has pledged to take on the city's half marathon on Sunday, October 13, to continue to raise funds for the RNLI.
“I have always found running challenging; and I want to push myself to do something to help raise money for such a great cause. It will also give me something to focus on in the run up to dad's anniversary,” said Jennifer.
“The efforts of the RNLI during the search were of great comfort to me and my family. To date we have raised just over £10,000 without gift aid just by sharing dad's story.
“In 2019 my two brothers and I are focusing on actively fundraising for the RNLI in dad's name.”
The Simplyhealth Great Birmingham Run half marathon is one of the biggest organised running events in the Midlands.
A new and improved 13.1 mile route will see thousands participants start on New Street in Birmingham city centre before heading to the south of the city into beautiful Bournville and the open spaces of Cannon Hill Park.
The half marathon raises thousands of pounds of extra income for local and national good causes. It also features the ENGIE Business Challenge, which invites work teams to compete for fastest-time trophies.
Writing on their fundraising page, the Collier family adds: “We would like to thank all of those who contributed to and supported us during the search for dad – the RNLI, HM Coastguard, The Royal Navy (especially the crew of HMS Tyne), the Dorset Police, volunteers and members of the public walking on the coastline and those who supported these efforts from afar.
“The search operation was one of the largest of its kind for the RNLI and the Coastguard and we could not imagine how much worse our experience would have been without their expertise, support and condolences.
“Every single possible resource was deployed and we have such a huge amount of respect and gratitude for those who dedicate their time and energy to providing safety for those at sea. We have all seen how cruel it can be.
“We have been overwhelmed with messages of support from our own friends and families, as well as those who knew dad from his work, the numerous watersports families and beyond. It's a wonderful testament to his character and the impression he has left on others.
“We would like to thank those who have offered their condolences and support, your kindness and generosity has made a huge impact during this very difficult time. Thank you everyone for your considerations, thoughts and prayers in whatever way these are expressed.”
To enter the Simplyhealth Great Birmingham Run click here ?
Anyone who took part in the Simplyhealth Great Birmingham 10k in May will automatically receive a £10 discount off their entry to the half marathon.