December 2021 – The Fundraiser

Learn more about my Liverpool Half Marathon fundraiser for Translators Without Borders!


At WM Translation Services, we undertstand the importance of charity. We continually take on pro bono projects, but with continued growth in our client base, we had to think outside of the linguistic box.

As detailed in my July post, the 2021 lockdown saw me undertake the WMTS Push-Up Challenge and during the summer I also decided to enter the Liverpool Half Marathon and raise money for Translators Without Borders (TWB). TWB is a fantastic organisation that’s close to my heart. When starting my career in translation, I secured my first pro bono work with them, which in turn helped me secure paid translation work and ultimately establish WMTS in 2017. Put simply, we wouldn’t be here today without organisations such as TWB.


The race was scheduled for 12 September (the day after my birthday), which left only two months to prepare. I’d been a keen runner for many years, but never completed 21 kilometres before. As with the Push-Up Challenge, I cleared a space in my calendar and started start getting the miles under my belt. I already had a fair idea of what my finish time might be, so I aimed to finish in less than two hours and set about promoting the fundraiser on my dedicated JustGiving page and the WMTS Twitter account.

Over the next 6 weeks, I settled on a longer local running route and hit the tarmac. Some days were harder than others, but by the end of August, I’d managed to complete the required 21 kilometres in under two hours.


Before I knew it, race-day had arrived and the early morning air was a shock to the system. The race was due to start at 9am and after posting the obligatory pre-race tweet, I made my to the starting line.

The race started dead on time with the euphoria inducing chorus of Neil Diamond’s ‘Sweet Caroline’ blurring over the loudspeaker. Then, as the runners began to surge forward, I was off. Now, at this point, my inexperience got the better of me and I started off much faster pace than I usual pace. This would be to my detriment as the race went on.

The incline up Upper Parliament Street was tough and my legs were burning by the time I reached Princes Park. From there, I managed to settle into a good pace and made my way towards Sefton Park. My nerves had faded by the time I reached Otterspool Park and I began to feel that I might actually make it back to the Liver Building in under two hours.

However, as I made the big right turn back along the Otterspool promenade, my energy levels took a nosedive and I began to pay dearly for having started off too quickly. Over the last two miles my pace slowed dramatically, but I kept going and managed to pick up the pace again, acquiring a running buddy in the process. As the M&S Bank Arena came into view I knew I’d finish the race, but the clock faces of the Liver Buildings were still obscured by the red brick of the Royal Albert Dock. Then, finally, as I passed the famous Billy Fury statue, I could see the time had just passed 11am. As I rounded the Museum of Liverpool, towards the finish, I somehow found the energy to sprint the last 100 yards to the line and finish the half marathon in two hours and four minutes.


Initially, I was a bit disappointed with my finish time, but, as the day wore on, I began to reflect on what I’d acheived and how the money raised would help TWB break down language barriers and provide support in humanitarian crises, conflicts, disasters, and health epidemics. In total, I raised £625 for TWB, which will help fund workshops for field workers on effectively communicating COVID-19 prevention and response information.

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Author: Will Maitland

German and French > English Freelance Translator

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