When David Smith started running over 25 years ago it was all about chasing PBs. These days you’ll find him at the back of the field dressed in a Scooby Doo costume chasing charity donations.
And his fundraising methods are proving extremely successful. The 49-year-old pharmacist has so far raised 80,000 pounds – and that’s a lot of Scooby snacks!
David, who lives in Chesterfield, said: “It used to be all about PBs and how fast I could run. I ran all distances from 10Ks to the marathons. As I headed into my late 30’s I slowed down and PBs became a thing of the past. However, I discovered the thrill of raising money for charity.”
He raised money for Chesterfield’s Ashgate Hospice following the death of his mother-in-law and then, after his wife, Ann, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis ran in aid of the MS Society.
David said: “But what really kick started my fundraising was two things. In September 2014 my step- daughter, Nicola, had a still born baby, Theo. It had a profound effect on the entire family. When I learned about the high incidence of still born babies in the UK I decided I needed to do something about it. I started to run to raise money for SANDS, the still born and neonatal death charity.
“At the same time Run For All started to put on more and more races each year. But these weren’t ordinary races, these were top quality city centre races which brought loads of spectators into the cities to watch.
“So today you will find me at the back of many of RFA events from the Sheffield 10K to the Yorkshire marathon, dressed as Scooby Doo, with a bucket collecting for my charities. Thanks to Run For All I’m no longing chasing running PB’s, I’m chasing fundraising PB’s and hopefully the £80K I’ve raised so far will make a difference.”
Rattling a bucket while dressed as Scooby Doo has been a winning combination for David.
He said: “Scooby Doo is the same age as me. He is still on TV so all generations know about him and recognise him. The costume works perfectly for creating attention when I’m running with a collecting bucket.
“Back in 2001 I used to do one main event a year and get my customers at the pharmacy to sponsor me. Then I discovered that running with a bucket could bring in more money, so I started entering more and more races until I’m doing around 40 races per year.”
David’s 2019 race calendar includes the Yorkshire Marathon, Leeds Half Marathon, Hull Half Marathon, Leeds 10K and York 10K and with the help of Scooby, he is well on his way to achieving his 100,000 pounds target.