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Posted by portugalpress on March 07, 2014

He's not an athlete. He "swore never to do another marathon again" after the first one he tried - but now he's back in his running shoes to help Algarve children.

Alexander Kenney, 34, will be running the Brighton marathon on April 6 to raise money for two children's homes in Albufeira.

He's hoping for as much sponsorship as he can get, as he tells us: "Every little bit of help really means a lot... and will make a huge difference to the lives of these youngsters."

The homes he's campaigning for are ‘Os Pirilampos’, which takes care of children to the age of 12, and ‘A Gaivota’, for youngsters from the ages of 12 to 18.

Speaking to the Algarve Resident from his day job in Vale do Lobo, Sales Manager Kenney explained the impetus behind his asphalt-pounding efforts: “I was adamant that I wanted to raise funds to support children. We were all children once, so we can all relate to a feeling of vulnerability living in a world of giants.”

He told us that he remembers visiting ‘Os Pirilampos’ "to donate some items" when he was a child - "and what an eye-opening experience it was".

“It's difficult to imagine what it must be like growing up without your parents or family around but it really gets you thinking about how much most of us take for granted.”

He added that the staff at the homes do “an amazing job but work with very limited funding”.

“These homes’ lack of exposure made me realise that there's no way that they are getting as much support from the community as they could. We can all make a difference, albeit small, but it all adds up to a big difference in the end.”
Kenney said that his desire to make a difference was the reason why he broke his vow never to run another marathon again.

"I'd always dismissed the marathon idea after the first one - unless of course it was for a really worthy cause.... so here I am a few years older and wiser (debatable!) and I do have a very worthy cause that is worth putting my body through hell for.”

He's currently training between 40-55miles per week (70-90km per week) and told us he's "pretty tired now, to be honest".

But with the funds he raises for the two homes – between them caring for over 45 children – he hopes to provide the children with dental care, eye care, as well as educational tools and other essential products.

Alex’s initiative is being supported by the Peta Birch Foundation as well as the Be as One Foundation.

If you are interested in making a donation or sponsoring Alex per mile, you can do so online.