Originally, running offered a mere excuse to get out of the house during lockdown, however now I have well and truly “caught the bug”. My official training period has began, and I will be aiming to break 3 hours in my first ever Marathon.

I am incredibly proud to be running on behalf of Afghanaid, a cause that I care deeply about due to the monumental support they provide to some of the most marginalized and neglected communities on the globe.

Over 8 million people are currently on the brink of famine in Afghanistan, including almost half of all children under 5. Following the freezing winter, men, women, and children in Afghanistan are confronting the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.

Women and girls bear the brunt of humanitarian crises, with mothers often the first to forego food when there is a shortage. I am hugely passionate about supporting Afghan women as their human rights remain under great pressure, with no sign that public restrictions placed on female education, employment and basic movement will be eased.

Afghanaid works with marginalised groups in the Afghan community, helping to:
- Provide emergency aid and basic services to reduce disease and death, particularly in natural disaster prone regions;
- Upskill rural communities so to boost their productivity and improve their livelihoods;
- Empower women by providing them with the educational and social skills to reduce social isolation; increase their involvement in community governance and improve their financial engagement.

The last three months in Ukraine have brought into context the atrocities and suffering caused by tyranny and conflict, which directly mirrors the struggles of those in Afghanistan too.

If you are in a position to donate, provide support, or raise awareness for this life-changing cause then this would mean the world to me and millions of citizens in Afghanistan. I hope that by running for Afghanaid, we can help raise money and awareness so to prevent further atrocities and protect some of the most vulnerable people in the world.

Ed Lyons