By Elizabeth Hopwood
A Sheffield runner who swore he’d never take part in the city’s half marathon again has signed up for the race on Sunday to raise funds for the Red Cross helping refugees in Ukraine.
Pierre Laubscher, from Sheffield, said that after running the race in 2019, which takes the runners on a climb as tall as the Eiffel Tower, he would never do it again.
But after the Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February, he said he “knew he had to something”, and entered the race on 27 March.
Pierre said: “On the day of the invasion, it was obvious what I had to do.
“Imagine leaving everything which you’ve worked for in your lifetime and that’s what people in Ukraine are doing.”
Mr Laubscher started with a target of £1,000 but has now reached over £1,800 on his Go Fund Me page, which he launched on 11 March.
Sheffield was twinned with the city of Donetsk in Ukraine during the Cold War in 1956 due to their similar steel and mining heritage.
Mr Laubscher said: “I would like the people of Sheffield, with their history and links to Donetsk, to get massively behind my appeal.”
According to the Red Cross, they have already evacuated over 57,000 people from Ukraine, provided first aid training to 1,000 people in metro stations and bomb shelters, among other aid.
Florence Gillette, head of delegation in Ukraine for the Red Cross, said: “As the conflict evolves and escalates, the anguish and fear people have endured over the recent days deepens.
“We are extremely concerned that the conflict is affecting very populated areas.”
To donate to Mr Laubscher’s appeal, you can find his Go Fund Me page via this link. Pierre Laubscher is fundraising for The British Red Cross Society (justgiving.com)
To donate to the Red Cross directly, you can via this link. Ukraine Crisis Appeal | British Red Cross