Gareth Ralphs lost his son, aged 15 months, in December 1999. This year, to celebrate what would have been Max’s 13th birthday, Gareth is running thirteen half-marathons to raise money for Daisy’s Dream, a Berkshire charity which supports children and their families affected by life-threatening diseases or bereavement. I first heard about Gareth from a close friend of mine, who used to live next door to him. I called Gareth to find out more about his story and to ask whether he would be keen to tell his story on camera.
Luckily, he was. Listening to his story, I realised Gareth was very strong, determined, yet humble and very rational about what can only be described as one of the worst tragedies a parent can endure.
So over the next few months I’m hoping to spend some time with Gareth and his family to try and understand better how they coped with the tragedy – and to document his attempt to complete thirteen half-marathons by September.
A couple of weekends ago, I filmed Gareth during a half-marathon in Wokingham, Berkshire and we decided to use some of that footage to put together a short video to promote Gareth’s donations page and help him achieve his goal.
It was a sunny, crisp winter morning and Gareth had barely recovered from a chest infection, but decided to run anyway. Not only did he run, but also finished in what looks to me – barely-able-to-run-for-10-minutes-in-the-gym editor – like a decent time. So, if you can, please support Gareth via his JustGiving page, where you can also read more of his story.
Share the video with others (there’s also a YouTube version) – and hopefully by autumn I’ll be able to share with you our film documenting Gareth’s ‘131313’ project.