By Kai Fletcher……..
At age 6 I started running next to my dad on a running machine whilst travelling Asia also whilst trying to learn the concept of maths and English as I was completely illiterate. For 4 months travelling from Thailand to Malaysia and then to Indonesia grasping my passion for running took a while as I didn’t have as much of the ‘get up and go’ mentality like my dad. At 6 there was only 3 things I was doing maths, English and running. Running turned into a passion rather than a way to keep fit, I looked forward to running.
I kept my running up from then on and in 2011 the Esentepe Tulips Fun Run was announced and I finally had something to work for. That year I ran the 5km at the young age of 9 years. The following two years I competed in the 5km improving my pace each time.
In 2013 I entered the race with my school at the time (GAU) the school entered the 5km but after announcing that we were entering the 5km I went to speak to my headteacher and said “I can’t enter the 5km, it’s too easy. I’m going to do the 8km.” My headteacher gave me full support in doing this, I would say otherwise though of the PE teachers who simply ‘judged a book by its cover’. I was quite chubby then and all they thought was he couldn’t run if he tried. Even with all this negativity I pushed on proving everyone wrong I ran, ran with all my heart and soul. Doing 8km was my biggest achievement, I loved it.
The following was one of the toughest as I was advised against running the 8km again as I had bronchitis (Chest Infection). Of course being as daft as I am I ignored it. I ran yet again.
On June 28th 2014 My grandad died from Bowel Cancer just 2 weeks after diagnosis. This having a huge toll on me
The ‘big year’ was 2016 my dad and I decided we need to go big by announcing our target was 10,000TL. The reason for this was I was unanimously chosen for the Carrington Shield award. I was super excited and proud of my achievement . We were getting a lot of attention via radio and newspapers and people were starting to say it was impossible. Having faith in the general public was what we had with random people coming and sponsoring 100TL it was shocking. I was speakig with the chairman of EFRAR, Art Watson, quite often and updating him on how it was going but the week before the event we ‘apologised’ saying we couldn’t make the target and only raising around 6,500TL. The day of the run had come and as I’m setting up to start running, people came to me and wished me luck.
At the end of the race I revealed I had raised 19,800TL almost doubling our target, everyone was shocked and as a special thank you to the sponsors I ran the 5km as well.
The Esentepe Fun Run and Ramble is now getting close and we are doing the hat-trick of runs on the 9th April for Tulips (Help those with Cancer Association).
It’s a family affair with Kade, Ian, Sharon and Kai
We are, of course, looking for sponsors again.. but we are also looking for people to join us on the 3 runs and really get the “hat-trick club” going – 8kms at 10.30; 2kms at 11.30 and 5kms at 12 noon.
We have dragged my mum, Sharon Louise Fletcher into doing the 5km and Kade my younger brother is going for his first 2km run! It’s a family affair!
Please sponsor us to achieve more than we did in 2016.
Sponsorship forms for the Esentepe Fun, Run and Ramble 2017 are available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org