Focus: Fundraising - Me and my charity

Rory Coleman, a sales manager for a printing company, decided in 1994 to quit alcohol and smoking and to start running marathons. He now organises his own marathon competition and donates some of the money he earns from sponsorship to Action on Addiction.

Why did you choose Action on Addiction? It's the only charity to do research to find out why people are addicted to drugs. I also have a history of alcohol problems. At the time I was drinking too many beers, smoking 40 cigarettes a day and was overweight. But in 1994 I decided to stop and started jogging.

Since then I have run 500 marathons, including the London and New York events. I wanted to give something back to society and picked up on the charity after doing a search on the internet. Running is a very positive thing to do and it certainly helped me keep away from drinking. Since I started I have set a world record: I ran 101 miles on a treadmill in one day. It's in Guinness World Records.

What do you do to support them? I make donations through Marathon of Britain, a running race I set up a few years ago. People run for six days across the UK. The next one is in September. We have 40 participants. Last year, I donated £10,000 to Action on Addiction out of the entry fees. We looked at our competitors and none of them were supporting a drug addiction charity.

Addiction is quite a tricky subject and people tend to give more to children's and cancer charities. By giving Action on Addiction some of our earnings rather than raising money solely through sponsorship, we guarantee them support.

But we encourage participants to raise donations too.

Do you volunteer for them? No, but maybe I will in the future. I have a job and six children, and Marathon of Britain takes up a lot of time.

Do you support other charities? Christian Aid. My wife and I are both Christians. We have a monthly standing order with them. We also donate to our local church. I also raised money for Help the Aged a long time ago. I raised £60,000 in two races through corporate sponsorship.

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